Earlier today, David Crawford Jr., the owner of Model Tees Screen Printing and The Post, finalized terms to purchase the Cherokee County Herald from Marietta-Ga.-based Times Journal, Inc. and restore local ownership of the county's oldest weekly newspaper for the first time since 1988.
The Herald began publication in Centre in 1938. The Post was created and has been produced in Centre since 1985.
Weekly publication of The Herald will continue uninterrupted led by News Editor Terry Dean, Sports Editor Shannon Fagan, Account Specialist Vickie Evans Robinson and Classified and Legals Clerk Michelle Tucker. The Herald will continue to work out of offices located at 1460 West Main Street in Centre in the Weiss Lake Plaza.
Crawford, who has owned The Post since 1998, said he is excited about returning complete editorial control to local journalists and page designers.
"I'm very proud of what we've been able to accomplish with The Post over the last 20 years and I'm really excited about The Herald," Crawford said. "We've got two great weeklies in Cherokee County, both of which provide jobs for local residents and suplly everyone in our coverage area with consistent, dependable, professional local news, sports and editorial content that they absolutely cannot get anywhere else. We thank all Herald readers for their loyalty and ask that they all continue checking in with us regularly in the months to come. We think you're going to really like what you see."
Scott Wright, managing editor of The Post, will assist the staff atthe Herald with page layout and promotions for the next several months. Crawford said he anticipates that each of the publications will continue to operate exclusive of the other following the ownership transition of the Herald.
"We like where we are with The Post, so there's no plan for changes there," Crawford said. "And we're excited to talk with everyone at the Herald and get their suggestions and ideas. For the first time in a long time, the Cherokee County Herald is truly 'locally owned and operated' and we want to take advantage of that distinction. No one knows Herald readers better than the people who work there. We consider the Herald employees valuable resources, and we're going to use their talents and creativity in a way that will be positive for them, us and our readers."
The combination of the two publications results in a weekly circulation of around 17,000 copies, with well over 50,000 monthly vies and reader interactions on various forms of combined social media, including dedicated websites, Facebook and Twitter.
Publisher Otis Raybon, who supervised the sale of the Herald, said "We have enjoyed working with the staff of the Herald, and have great confidence in them and their ability to continue to produce a quality community newspaper," Raybon said. "We are certain that working with David Crawford and his staff at The Post, Herald readers will receive a much more local newspaper."
The Post: facebook.com/postcentre; Twitter:@postpaper
The Herald: facebook.com/CherokeeCountyHerald; Twitter: @CherokeeHerald