After delivering news to the Charleston, S.C. area for more than 200 years, the Post and Courier will launch a modern news operation in Greenville and Myrtle Beach. The targeted launch date for both is Aug. 1
“We feel like now is the time as we see more and more regionalization taking place within the newspapers of the state,” said publisher P.J. Browning said.
The Post and Courier decided to go into Greenville with a digital-only presence, while Myrtle Beach will publish a Wednesday print edition.
The main goal is to stay “committed to local,” Browning said.
The Greenville news site will include a staff of one digital editor, one local editor and four reporters. The new Myrtle Beach publication will include four reporters and a local editor. All positions are full-time. The Greenville digital editor and local editor will operate out of a shared office space in downtown Greenville, while the reporters will have the ability to work remotely. In Myrtle Beach, reporters will also work remotely, and the local editor will have an office in the Georgetown operation and run both the Georgetown and Myrtle Beach operations.
With the Greenville and Myrtle Beach working remotely from the get-go, E&P also asked Browning about the concerns being expressed by Post and Courier employees who were required to return to the office full-time in June.
“There’s a lot of fear with the pandemic, and I absolutely understand all the fear and I have been personally meeting with each one of the newsroom members that worked remotely,” she said. “We still have work to do to become a remote workforce (and ) we tried to deploy remote workstations as best we could…that being said, we have to spend some money and investments getting ourselves more remote ready (in Charleston).”
When asked if the business model will be like the Post and Courier, Browning said it is not. The Greenville operation will go to market with a business plan that is 100 percent built on audience revenue. While they do believe that the operation will get some advertising revenue, they don’t want to depend on a changing source of revenue. In addition, Browning emphasized the importance on audience revenue moving forward due to the impact that COVID-19 has had on ad revenue.
The expansion comes at a strange time as the nation is still battling the pandemic, yet, it has revealed the need for local news.
“We are never more popular as a news industry than now,” Browning said. “So, I think it actually gives more hope to say people really want and need this information.”