The McClatchy Company
Newspapers
The Sun News
914 Frontage Road East
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577-6700
843-626-8555
www.thesunnews.com

 

The Paper

Mission Statement: Be the pre-eminent source of news and advertising for Horry County and the coastal areas of Georgetown and Brunswick counties. Provide exceptional thought leadership to the community.

Founded: The Sun News traces its origins to June 1, 1935, with the publication of the first issue of Myrtle Beach News, a weekly tabloid founded by C.L. Phillips and his brother-in-law, J. Clarence Macklen. The Myrtle Beach News later merged in 1961 with the Myrtle Beach Sun, a competing weekly founded in 1950, to form The Sun-News under the ownership of Mark Garner.

The Sun-News began publishing biweekly shortly thereafter, and by 1972, it was published three times a week. the newspaper was publishing Monday through Saturday when it was purchased by The State-Record Company of Columbia, S.C., in 1973. A Sunday edition was added in 1977, and The Sun News officially became a daily newspaper. Knight Ridder acquired The State-Record Co., which included The Sun News, in 1986. In June 2006, The McClatchy Company acquired Knight Ridder and The Sun News became part of its present-day parent company.

With a daily circulation averaging 50,000, it is a vibrant and growing newspaper that is highly respected throughout the Carolinas as one of the leading sources of information and thought leadership.

Key Executives:
P.J. Browning, President and Publisher
Carolyn Murray, Vice President and Editor
Brad Howard, Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Manny Berdayes, Vice President, Finance
Fred Greer, Circulation Director
Mark Webster, Regional Vice President for Human Resources

General Hiring Contact: Human Resources Manager Cynthia Reichelderfer at 914 Frontage Road East, Myrtle Beach, SC, 29577 or creichelderfer@thesunnews.com



Market: The Sun News serves the high-growth coastal counties in South Carolina and southern Brunswick County in North Carolina. Locals know the area as "The Grand Strand," defined by 60 miles of sandy beach from the border of North Carolina and South Carolina to Georgetown County. The Myrtle Beach metro was the fourth-fastest growing area in the nation between 2005 and 2006. Population growth continues to come from retirees, baby boomers and those migrating to the area from the warmer climate, beaches, abundance of golf and real estate. In addition to a growing residential population, the area served by The Sun News also is a popular tourist destination for more than 13 million visitors annually. To meet the variety of needs for information in the market, The Sun News relies on experienced journalists, its thought leadership, an ever-increasing array of printed niche products, strategic packaging and "editioning," and an innovative website that's become the leading local site in Coastal Carolinas.

Circulation Area: The core market sits in the northeast corner of South Carolina and extends into North Carolina along the Atlantic Coast. South Carolina counties include Horry, Georgetown and parts of Marion and Williamsburg. North Carolina counties include Brunswick and parts of Columbus.

Customers: Readership is mixed between local residents and visitors (short and long-term) in the market. Expectations and informational needs differ for both reader segments. Residents tend to be older, less diversified and slightly less educated than the national average. The are paid slightly less than the national average. They have a higher home-ownership rate and are less likely to have children in the household. Many are retirees who relocated to the area.

Site: The Sun News is centrally located along Highway 17, which is the major highway for North/South traffic in the area. The building site is located on a frontage road parallel to Highway 17 on eight acres of land. The property is approximately two miles west of the Atlantic Ocean. The building is approximately 69,000 square feet in size and was originally built in 1976.

Readership:
Average issue - Daily, 108,000
Average issue - Sunday, 128,000
Average issue - Saturday, 94,000
Past Week Integrated Newspaper Audience (7 day print audience + 7 day online audience, unduplicated) - 182,000
(Source: 2009 Clark, Martire & Bartolomeo)

Circulation: 48,151 daily; 59,697 Sunday (Source: Audit Bureau of Circulation, Sept. 28, 2008)

Size: Main section averages 36 to 40 pages daily; classified averages eight pages Monday through Thursday and 16 to 18 pages on Friday and Sunday; main section averages 44 to 49 pages Sunday (A, A1, B, and C); Sunday Coasting averages 10 pages; Money and classified averages 26 to 28 pages; real estate tab averages 84 to 88 pages; TV book is 24 tab pages

Single-Copy Sales: 26% daily; 37% Sunday

Production: Goss Headliner offset consisting of eight units, five half decks and one single out folder; six units and four half decks were installed in 1987; two used units with one half deck added in 2000 from Fort Worth

Color: In a 40-page main run, 20 pages of full color, eight spot color and 12 black; straight mode will produce 12 pages of full color, eight spot color and 20 black

Website: www.thesunnews.com

Average Monthly Page Views/Unique Visitors: 7 million page views; 568,000 unique visitors (Source: 2010 Omniture)

Other Websites: www.weeklysurge.com, alternative publication site

Employees: 244 full-time; 18 part-time

Newsroom Staff: 65

Bureaus: Brunswick Bureau in Shallotte, N.C.; South Strand Bureau in Murrells Inlet, S.C.; Specialty Publications Bureau in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Major Awards:
2007
  • 2007 Taylor-Tomlin Award for Investigative Journalism
    • Investigative reporter David Wren for his Five River Series
2006
  • South Carolina Press Association
    • Top newspaper in the Carolinas with No. 1 in general excellence and No. 1 in public service
    • 24 advertising design awards
  • McClatchy President's Award
    • Investigative reporter David Wren for his Five River series
  • Associated Press Sports Editors
    • First place for Alan Blondin in the feature story category
    • Fourth place for Sean Horgan in the project reporting category
  • American Home Furnishings Alliance
    • A HOME award for Denise Mullen, editor of "HomeStyles" magazine,

Major Advertisers: Prudential Burroughs & Chapin; Coldwell Chicora Realty; Broyhill/Ashley; Unclaimed Furniture; La Z Boy; Dillard's; Belk Department Stores; JCPenney; Sears; Kmart; Target; Kohl's; Best Buy; Circuit City; The Home Depot; Lowe's; Sprint Nextel; Suncom; Cingular/AT&T; MB Chrysler; Addy's Harbor Dodge; Horry Telephone Cooperative

Creative Ventures:

Myrtle Beach is crowded with swimmers on a June evening.

Well-Known Newsroom Personalities: Local columnist and blogger Issac Bailey; features columnist Johanna Wilson; humor columnist Celia Rivenbark; senior investigative reporter David Wren; golf writer Alan Blondin

Community Involvement: Volunteer of the Year; Myrtle Beach Marathon; The Sun Fun Festival; Waccamaw Community Foundation; Shared Care, an agency that provides medical care for the indigent and those with no or little medical insurance; United Way; American Red Cross; Step Up!, an agency that serves as network for recruiting and placing community volunteers; partnerships, including extensive cross-promotion with Coastal Carolina University and Myrtle Beach Pelicans Class A baseball organization; The Sun News Educational Foundation (a private foundation), awards college scholarships, stipends for most influential teachers, and grants to help fund projects of PTAs, school improvement councils and other school support groups

The Community

The Market: The Sun News serves the high-growth coastal counties in South Carolina and southern Brunswick County in North Carolina. Locals know the area as "The Grand Strand," defined by 60 miles of sandy beach from the border of North Carolina and South Carolina to Georgetown County. The area offers beautiful beaches, an abundance of golf courses, restaurants, amusements and shopping outlets.

The Myrtle Beach metro was the fourth-fastest growing area in the nation between 2005 and 2006. Population growth continues to come from retirees, baby boomers and those migrating to the area for the warmer climate, beaches, abundance of golf and real estate. In addition to a growing residential population, the area served by The Sun News also is a popular tourist destination for more than 13 million visitors annually. Tourism, including the golf industry, and real estate are the key economic drivers of the economy and is fueling the growth of retail sales and retail offerings, as well as commercial development across the market. This is a factor in The Sun News' circulation having above-average single copy sales. The Myrtle Beach area ranked No. 1 on the 2005 list of 10 Most Desirable Second Home Markets, according to EscapeHomes.com.

Local seafood, including the shrimp caught here, is the star attraction at many of Myrtle Beach’s restaurants.

Location: Myrlte Beach is located two hours north of Charleston, S.C.; three hours east of the state capital, Columbia, S.C.; three-and-a-half hours southeast of Charlotte, N.C.; one-and-a-half hours south of Wilmington, N.C.; and three hours south of Raleigh, N.C.

Transportation: The Myrtle Beach International Airport serves as the only commercial airport for Horry and Georgetown counties. The airport is a full-service airport, including all Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. Major airlines providing service to and from the area include U.S. Airways, Delta's Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Spirit and Continental. Grand Strand Airport is located within the city limits of North Myrtle Beach and serves private and corporate aircraft. Other transportation includes taxis, Greyhound, marinas and buses. At the present time, Myrtle Beach is not connected to an interstate highway; a proposed Interstate 73 is on the drawing board and has received initial funding but is at least 10 years away from becoming a reality.

City Population: 25,364

City Households: 11,872

Household Growth Rate: 2.1% annually between 2006 and 2011 for Myrtle Beach; 2.6% annually between 2006 and 2011 for the area

Education: 79% have high school degrees or higher

Ethnic Makeup: 77% white; 19% black; 4% other

Median Age: 48 for adults

Population Median Age: 40

Average Income: $55,112

Median Home Value (2006): $193,000 in Horry County; $259,000 in Georgetown County

Average Rent: $606

Climate: Mild winters and warm summers; enjoys 215 days of sunshine a year; average summer temperature is 89 degrees; average winter temperature is 61 degrees; average annual rainfall is 54.7 inches.

Major Employers (more than 1,000 employees)/Industries: Horry County School District; Burroughs & Chapin Co.; Wal-Mart; AVX; Horry County Government; Conway Hospital; Grand Strand Regional Medical Center; Coastal Carolina University; Myrtle Beach National; Blue Cross/Blue Shield; tourism and tourism-related services, including golf, real estate, engineering and retail

Major Retailers: Broyhill/Ashley; Unclaimed Furniture; La Z Boy; Rooms to Go; Dillard's; Belk Department Stores; JCPenney; Sears; Kmart; Target; Kohl's; Best Buy; Circuit City; The Home Depot; Lowe's; Sprint Nextel; Suncom; Cingular/AT&T

Higher Learning: Coastal Carolina University; Horry-Georgetown Technical College; Webster University; Brunswick Community College

Culture: Long Bay Symphony; Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum; Horry County Museum; The Children's Museum of South Carolina; Brookgreen Gardens; Georgetown Museum; The Museum of Coastal Carolina; The Rice Museum, featuring a maritime museum gallery

Sports: Coastal Carolina University athletics programs, Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Atlanta Braves Class A Affiliate)

Major Annual Events: Myrlte Beach Marathon; Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro/Am; May motorcycle rallies; Atlantic Beach Festival; Blue Crab Festival; The Sun Fun Festival; St. Patrick's Day Festival; 'Round the Fourth Independence Day Festival; Harborwalk Festival; NC Oyster Festival; Beach Ball Classic -- national high school holiday basketball tournament; World Amateur Handicap Championship

Tourist Attractions: The beach with miles of oceanfront public access; golf with more than 100 courses; shopping with three major enclosed malls, Coastal Grand Mall (one of the largest in the state), Inlet Square Mall and Colonial Mall; two major outlet malls (Tanger Outlet Malls); two festival shopping centers, Broadway at the Beach (winner of South Carolina's top tourist attraction for several years) and Barefoot Landing; Ripley's Aquarium; miniature golf

Recreation: Myrtle Beach State Park; Huntington State Park; Intracoastal Waterway with boat landings and access points; fishing in deep sea, surf, freshwater and crabbing; watersports; Waccamaw River; PeeDee River; more than 100 golf courses

Nightlife: Broadway at the Beach Celebrity Square nightlife; downtown nightlife; North Myrtle Beach beach music clubs; Restaurant Row Highway 17 dining district; Murrells Inlet, "Seafood Capital of the World"; Shallotte-Calabash seafood

Claim to Fame: Most popular tourist destination on the East Coast; seaside golf capital of the world with approximately 100 area golf courses; The Shag, the swing-like dance, was born here in North Myrtle Beach in 1940; The National Shag Dance Championships are held here annually; The magazine "Sports Illustrated" got its start in Myrtle Beach

Famous Citizens: Vanna White, co-host of the television game show "The Wheel of Fortune" grew up in North Myrtle Beach; Kelly Tilghman, the first, full-time female play-by-play golf commentator in the history of television was raised in North Myrtle Beach; Nancy O'Dell, a native of Myrtle Beach, is co-anchor of the syndicated television entertainment show "Hollywood Access"; Mickey Spillane, the late, well-known mystery author of the Mike Hammer series lived in Murrells Inlet on The Grand Strand until his death in 2006; Chubby Checker, the kind of the dance "The Twist" was born in Andrews, a Grand Strand community; comedian Chris Rock was born in Andrews but was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and his mother still lives in Georgetown, S.C.; one of the best selling country bands of all times, Alabama, got its start as a bar band in Myrtle Beach; world famous pool player Ewa Mataya Laurance and her husband, actor and announcer Mitchell Laurance, call Conway home; best-selling author William Gibson, who invented and popularized the word "cyberspace," was born in Conway in 1948.

Trivia: Calabash-style cooking, lightly battered seafood briefly fried, is famous nationwide and was born in Calabash, N.C., a Grand Strand community; Myrtle Beach holds the Guinness World Record for tallest sand sculpture.

Area Information:
Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
1200 North Oak St.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
843-626-7444
800-356-3016
www.mbchamber.com

Myrtle Beach Area Convention Bureau
1200 North Oak St.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
843-448-1629

Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association
1551 21st Ave. North
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
843-626-9668
www.mbhospitality.org

Recent Issues of the Newspaper:
Melody Creech at 843-444-1712 or mcreech@thesunnews.com

(This profile was last updated on July 26, 2011)

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