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Friday, October 7, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Demise of a once-mighty daily

Editor’s Notebook: Demise of a once-mighty daily

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I teased this last week, and as promised, sports editor Dave Facinoli did bring back some editions of my old employer, the Myrtle Beach Sun News, from a vacation to South Carolina.

My prediction that the paper would be a shell of its one-time self, alas, came true. And it’s even worse than I thought.

This was a daily newspaper that during my days there in the 1990s was bursting with coverage and had a profit margin so high that even Colombian drug cartels sent people by to study how we did it. (Just kidding, of course. Maybe. Maybe not.)

But based on the editions that Dave brought back, things have been denuded almost to unrecognizable. Little local news. No local sports in the three days he bought copies. No editorial pages. Little advertising. But lots and lots of wire-service copy on matters that have zippo relevance to residents of or visitors to the Grand Strand. (A story about Argentina trying to prop up its currency? Are you flippin’ kidding??)

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And in proof that some things will survive no matter how much they deserve to be put out to pasture, the paper still runs a bunch of aged comics, including what is agreed by many to be the worst of the lot: Family Circus. My apologies to those of you where are devotees.

One wonders how long this decline can go on; the same question is surely being asked at dailies all across the fruited plain. (Weeklies, including the ones Dave brought back, seem to be doing better because they can focus in on news readers want, and with readers in hand, advertisers follow.)

One presumes the Facinoli family will be headed down to South Carolina for vacation in the summer of 2023. One can only wonder what things will be like, newspaper-wise, then. 🙁

SPEAKING OF SOUTH CAROLINA: I did read through the papers Dave brought back, and note that on the photo of the front page (shown above) is an article on the Democratic ticket for governor and lieutenant governor.

Obviously it’s a kamikaze run for that intrepid duo — this is South Carolina, for crying out loud, where monkeypox does better in the polling than Joe Biden. But note the, mmmmm, demographic composition of the ticket as evidenced by the photo. And then consider the demographic composition of the South Carolina Democratic Party.

Something does not quite compute.

— Scott McCaffrey

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