By: Lesley Messer
When the U.S. Open rolled into North Carolina on June 13th, the people of Pinehurst were ready. But nobody was more prepared than David Woronoff, publisher of The Pilot, a thrice-weekly, and his editorial staff.
Every morning during Open week, The Pilot published a 72-page daily supplement called Open Daily.
?This is the single largest event our community is ever going to host and we felt that our coverage needed to reflect that,? said Woronoff. ?And also, our staff dedicated ourselves to the notion that a community newspaper like ours can practice the quality of journalism as a big city paper. We think we accomplished that.?
The Pilot was faced with the challenge of putting out what essentially became two publications at the same time. On their regular publication days (Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday), they also put out a 24-page broadsheet of photos sent in by members of Moore County to help commemorate the special event. So they enlisted the help of what Woronoff calls, ?an all-star cast? including author and golf writer Jim Dodson.
?It was frenetic,? said Woronoff, when asked to describe the mood of the newsroom during such a busy week. ?I joke that I?m the Tom Sawyer of North Carolina newspapers. I got all these people to help us paint the fence.?
Also providing aid were members of the local Boys & Girls Club who passed out complimentary copies of the publication all over town. For their efforts, The Pilot made a $10,000 donation to the organization.
Needless to say, Open Daily was a hit. Woronoff said that just about half of the 72-page issues were ads. Although copies could be found on every corner, Woronoff maintained that members of the community, visitors and players alike usually snatched them up quickly.
?We?ve got folks wanting to wrap them up, put them in the closet and pull them out in ten years,? he said, ?and remember the event that way.?