Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  June 9, 2022

Longtime Moultrie News publisher announces retirement

Editor's Note: Congratulations to SCPA Past President Vickey Boyd on her upcoming retirement and 50 years in the industry!
As the publisher of the weekly paper for 20 years, Vickey Boyd and the Moultrie News became synonymous. Her desire to be a part of the community that the paper serves never faded throughout her career, from ribbon cuttings and Chamber of Commerce luncheons to community-wide events.
Those who knew the Moultrie News knew Vickey – and vice versa.
“We’ve always said that Vickey is the Moultrie News,” said P.J. Browning, the president of the Evening Post Industries newspaper division.
As Boyd reflected on the sum of 50 years with the newspaper group, she said she got the “dream job of a lifetime.”
“You realize one day 50 years goes by and you’re sitting there going, ‘Oh my gosh, how did it get to be 50 years?’” Boyd said.
Her longstanding career in the newspaper industry had humble beginnings, as many do. As an after-school job in high school, Boyd started working for the newly established Kingstree News, that later became The News. Her job was to sell six-month subscriptions for one dollar and every subscriber got their name on the front page of the paper. Sounds like an easy sell, especially to those who know Boyd’s knack for selling anything. This first job at a community newspaper set Boyd on the trajectory to half a century’s work in the newspaper industry.
“I don’t know anyone who takes more pleasure in the magic that is found when ink is applied to newsprint to bring the neighborhood, the town and the world to a reader,” said Jay Bender, an attorney for the South Carolina Press Association. Bender said Boyd exemplifies a fearless and adventurous spirit. Fearless when it comes to facing a former Georgetown mayor in a libel lawsuit and adventurous enough to go to Cuba with a group of South Carolina Press Association journalists.
Boyd said the trip to Cuba in 2008 provided a first-hand perspective of how a communist country operates by talking with government officials and making observations while touring the country. In typical Cuba fashion, the group had the opportunity to visit cigar factories and ride in cars from the 1950s.
Bender, who was also on the trip, recalled taking a stroll with Boyd one evening – not in the touristy parts of the town, but where the streetlights were dim and the sidewalks were uneven and crumbling. They found themselves eating dinner at a private residence that had a license to serve meals, as Bender remembered.
“Two very pale, language deficient gringos wandering off the beaten path at night in an unfamiliar, foreign city sounds like an adventure to me. Vickey might even have suggested it,” Bender said.
The trip to Cuba tops Boyd’s list of favorite moments during her career. Other highlights in her career include serving as president of the South Carolina Press Association and being a part of all the hard work that journalists pour into newspapers across the state, completing the yearlong Leadership South Carolina program and being the first woman in the Rotary Club.
Chase Heatherly, the regional publisher for Evening Post Newspaper Group’s community newspapers, said one of her best qualities as a publisher is her engagement with the East Cooper community. “She really does a great job of building relationships in that community on behalf of the Moultrie News.”
By Kenna Coe, Moultrie News | Read more

PALMY Ad Contest entries head off to judging; winners announced for proofing on June 24

2022 PALMY Ad Contest entries are heading to Mississippi this week for judging. 
Participation was strong this year. Twenty-eight member newspapers participated, up from last year. We had anticipated a decline in entries due to the economy, but that did not happen. 
Winners will be announced for proofing on June 24, but are not for release until July 13. Best of Show, Best Overall, Designer of the Year and the digital presentation of all winning ads with judges’ comments will be available on July 13.
Awards will be presented in person or mailed to winners in mid-July 2022. After winners are announced for proofing, SCPA staffers will reach out to see if you’d like to have a recognition event at your newspaper or if you’d prefer us to mail your awards.
Thanks to all the members who entered and to the SCPA Foundation’s Smoak Fund for sponsoring each newspaper’s first five entries.  

"Plastic fish" by Robert Ariail

If you can't get enough of award-winning Camden cartoonist Robert Ariail, enjoy his new strip featured every week in the Charleston City Paper, which has granted us ongoing permission to republish it. Called "Lowcountry," the weekly feature, which is available for syndication in South Carolina newspapers, focuses on politics, human nature, the environment and public policy. More: Contact publisher Andy Brack.

FOI Briefs

Uncovered: Sumter County Sheriff Dennis won’t be prosecuted on rape charge, AG office says after SLED probe

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference June 1 to address the rape allegations made against Sheriff Anthony Dennis. ...
Similar to the Jan. 26 press conference held in initial response to the allegations, Dennis did not speak. After a brief introduction from Sumter County court liaison Gwen Herod, Kent took to the podium.
He said that “thoughtful, thorough and independent” investigation into the rape allegations were done and the investigations by the Third Circuit Solicitors Office, the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, the State Law Enforcement Division and the independent investigation by former U.S. Attorney for South Carolina Peter McCoy all came to the same conclusion:  the case was without merit and will not be prosecuted.
A two-sentence letter obtained by The Post and Courier, written by Heather Weiss, senior assistant deputy attorney director, to the SLED agent assigned to the case, stated the AG office concluded “there is insufficient evidence to merit criminal prosecution.”
Melissa Addison, the former lieutenant who made the allegations, told Tony Bartelme, of The Post and Courier, she was disappointed but not surprised by the attorney general’s decision.
She told Bartelme she experienced first-hand the uphill climb many sexual abuse victims face, but that she had few regrets coming forward. ...
The Uncovered investigation found Addison, based on documents obtained and Freedom of Information Act requests, filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in February 2005 of Dennis’ alleged sexual advances but quickly withdrew the complaint in fear of what Dennis would do to her “professionally and personally.”
By Alaysha Maple, The Sumter Item | Read more

Fairfield Council members spend while cutting back departments

Three Fairfield County Council members traveled to a seaside resort last summer to learn more about county government. They registered for a few classes and stayed extra nights.
These expenses and others highlight an apparent pattern of frequent travel, double billing and other fiscal abuses found during a review of council member reimbursements.
They tell a story of council member excess at a time when other county departments have been ordered to freeze or cut back their budgets. ...
Although County Council pay levels lead other small counties (under 25,000 residents), some Fairfield  council members relied on taxpayer money to attend conferences across the state, billing residents for over $13,000, according to documents obtained through the S.C. Freedom of Information Act.
By Michael Smith, The Voice of Fairfield County | Read more

People & Papers


Cato joins The Post and Courier as managing editor

Jason Cato spent the past 17 years working in Pennsylvania, but he’s a South Carolinian at heart.
Cato, 49, became managing editor of The Post and Courier on May 31.
He grew up in Beaufort, where his father was editor and later publisher of the Beaufort Gazette, but he has lived in a “laundry list” of Palmetto State towns — including Charleston, Columbia, Rock Hill, Conway, Chester, Greenville, Greenwood, Lancaster and Surfside Beach. 
He graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in media communications.
Cato brings a desire to mentor others and an eagerness to learn to one of the newsroom’s top positions. 
The managing editor’s position has been vacant since Autumn Phillips was promoted to executive editor in August.
“We conducted a national search for a managing editor,” Phillips said. “It took 10 months to find the right person, but we ended up with exactly the right person for this time and this newsroom.”
Cato remembers how much his father cared for the Beaufort community, and he strives to leave the same impact.
“It’s not just covering communities, but being a part of communities,” Cato said. ...
Cato worked at The Herald in Rock Hill before making the move to Pennsylvania, where he spent 11 years as a reporter and editor at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review before moving in 2016 to the company’s newsroom in Greensburg.
By Kailey Cota, The Post and Courier | Read more

T&D's Fraser guides 'full-service digital agency'

The Times and Democrat's Kyla Fraser has done just about everything in the newspaper business.
"From the time I was very young, I was interested in writing and working with newspapers," Fraser said.
A native of Missoula, Montana, she started writing for her high school newspaper as a freshman, and was the features editor by the time she was a junior.
She went on to win the Silver Key journalist award from the University of Montana in 1985, and "could not wait to start a career at the Missoulian."
The Missoulian is owned by Iowa-based media company Lee Enterprises and is a sister paper of The T&D.
"I started writing freelance that year and also worked in production to keep my foot in the door," Fraser said. "As it turned out, I ended up with more of a creative writing preference and fell in love with production."
When she had her daughter, Fraser took a "route and bundle haul, running newspapers across the western part of Montana -- about 200 miles a day, seven days a week at night, leaving my days free to raise my daughter." ...
On May 10, Fraser's newspaper career took another step as she was named president and director of local sales and marketing for The T&D.
By Gene Zaleski, The Times and Democrat | Read more

Reporter Matthew Christian latest addition to Aiken Standard newsroom

Matthew Christian is the new Savannah River Site and politics reporter for the Aiken Standard.
Born and schooled in West Virginia, Christian worked for a weekly newspaper in the Mountain State post-college before jumping out of journalism to attend law school at the University of South Carolina.
Post-law school, Christian said he couldn’t see himself practicing law and decided to return to journalism.
He joined the Morning News in Florence where he covered government and politics for four years, before being recruited to come down to Aiken.
Christian said he’s enjoyed the city so far, saying “it’s big enough to have the things that you would like a city to have, but it’s small enough to where you don’t feel like one person out of a million.”
“We are excited to have Matthew join our team,” said John Boyette, executive editor. “He is very knowledgeable about state politics, and he is quickly learning about the Savannah River Site. Those two areas often intersect, and we think he is the perfect person for the job.”
By Landon Stamper, Aiken Standard | Read more

Plans for the old Herald site in downtown Rock Hill changed. Here’s the latest

The former Rock Hill Herald newspaper site in downtown has new development plans -- again. Apartments, commercial space and parking could come, pending a city planning commission decision on Tuesday night. Site plan approval has been requested, and involves more than seven acres at 132 W. Main St. A total of 15 lots would combine into one in an area bounded by West Main, Dave Lyle Boulevard, Wilson and White streets. 
Submitted plans from engineering firm Hoyt + Berenyi of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., show a three-story apartment building with 300 units, three new commercial buildings and a five-story parking deck. Two commercial buildings would be two-story, the other one-story. They would combine for 26,000 square feet of commercial space. Multiple buildings on the site, including the former Herald offices, distribution and printing areas, would be demolished.
By John Marks, The Herald | Read more
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Industry Briefs

Post and Courier advances digital subscriptions business with sports newsletters, in partnership with GNI

The Post and Courier and Google News Initiative (GNI) published a case study highlighting the impact of new paid newsletters to the paper’s digital subscription business. In partnership with the GNI, The Post and Courier launched three niche products including two sports-oriented newsletters The Tiger Take, and Gamecocks Now and a consumer dining newsletter, CHS Menu.
The main findings outlined in the GNI case study tout The Post and Courier’s ability to appropriately estimate audience size and subscriber potential, growing their average rate per user by 8%, a result of accurately pricing the newsletters. Additionally, driving leads through multiple outlets was a successful benefit that reached beyond traditional free newsletters, to include contesting, Facebook advertisements, events and registered users. For example, the sports newsletters saw a 268% growth in athletic leads over the past eight months.
The sports newsletters were initiated in July of 2021 with a focus on South Carolina college athletics, specifically the states two top rivals. Both universities boast significant and loyal fan bases. The Tiger Take is written by Reporter Jon Blau and covers Clemson University athletics and Gamecocks Now satiates The University of South Carolina fans and is written by Reporter David Cloninger. The newsletters focus on breaking news and are typically updated three to four times a week.
From The Post and Courier | Read more

AP Stylebook adds inclusive storytelling chapter with updates on covering race, gender, sexual orientation and more

The newest edition of The Associated Press Stylebook, released Wednesday, includes 35 disabilities-related entries and expanded guidance on the usage of they/them/their pronouns.
These Stylebook entries are part of a number of updates including a new chapter on inclusive storytelling, which includes updates on covering disabilities; race; gender, sex and sexual orientation; and religion. The chapter also provides advice on overcoming biases while reporting to ensure accurate and comprehensive coverage.
“Inclusive storytelling should be part of everyday conversations, decision-making and coverage,” the chapter reads. “That means integrating these goals in all aspects of conversations, from the beginning of the story idea to garnering reaction (and more story ideas) after publication.”
The new entries include instructions to capitalize Deaf when referring to the Deaf culture or Deaf community, guidance to use they/them/their as much as possible when referring to people who use those pronouns and the recommendation not to use the abbreviation CRT when referencing critical race theory.
By Angela Fu, Poynter | Read more

Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune print frequency change is on hold; Gannett pauses all changes to number of print editions

Sometimes with important decisions, it's best to take a pause to further consider whether it's the right decision at the right time.
This includes the Columbia Daily Tribune’s previously planned change from seven print days per week to three that we announced last month. For now, the Tribune will remain status quo with print editions every day.
Under a national decision by Gannett, which owns the Tribune and more than 200 other newspapers across the USA Today Network, all changes to the number of print editions published per week are being paused while the company analyzes new data and takes into consideration valuable input from our subscribers.
By Kevin Graeler, Columbia Daily Tribune | Read more

Related: Gannett announces strategic organizational restructuring

Nonsubscriber cap for in-county periodicals raised effective now

The Postal Service Reform Act of 2022 was signed into law last month. Section 204 of that Act raised the annual cap on the number of copies that a Periodicals publisher can send to non-subscribers at In-County rates from 10 percent to 50 percent of your annual subscriber volume. The Postal Service has amended the Domestic Mail Manual section 207.7 accordingly. The Federal Register announcement makes this change effective now. The United States Postal Service plans to measure compliance on a calendar year basis.
By Holly Lubart, News Media Alliance | Read more

Upcoming Events

As a service to its member newspapers, SCPA lists employment opportunities on our site upon request. There is no charge for this service to SCPA member newspapers. Please email openings to Kassidy Wright.
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