The McClatchy Company
The Beaufort Gazette
1809 Boundary St.
Beaufort, SC 29902
843-524-3183 or 843-706-8100

The lights of the Richard V. Woods bridge
are reflected off the calm waters of the
Beaufort River.

The Paper

Mission Statement/Motto: To be the leading newspaper and internet publisher for northern Beaufort County.

Founded: William Elliott, a Beaufort attorney, founded The Beaufort Gazette in 1897. The first edition was a four-page, eight-column broadsheet. The Gazette became a five-day-a-week afternoon newspaper April 30, 1973. The 1990s was a time of big changes for the Gazette. McClatchy Newspapers purchased the Gazette in 1990. Labor Day weekend of that year, the Gazette became a morning newspaper and by 1995 it had become a seven-day-a-week newspaper.

Military families make up a large part of the
Beaufort community.
Key Executives:
Sara Johnson Borton, President and Publisher; President of Lowcountry Operations
Fitz McAden, Executive Editor
Jeff Kidd, Editor
Jolie Bagonzi, Vice President, Human Resources
Sandy Gillis, Vice President, Advertising
Cynthia Taulbee, Vice President, Finance
William King, Vice President, Production
Henry Woloszyk, Vice President, Circulation
Matt Engels, Vice President, Information Technology
Bryan Osborn, Vice President, Digital and Business Development

General Hiring Contact:
Jolie Bagonzi, Vice President, Human Resources
The Beaufort Gazette/The Island Packet
PO Box 5727
Hilton Head Island, SC 29938 / fax: 843-524-7226

Distinction: Only daily newspaper covering northern Beaufort County

Market: The Beaufort Gazette serves northern Beaufort County and northern Jasper County. Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, one of the large Sea Islands along the southeast Atlantic coast of the United States. It is one of the few towns with its entire downtown designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a historic district. Port Royal is bounded by the Beaufort River and Battery Creek and offers a unique blend of small town atmosphere and natural settings. Beaufort and Port Royal are proud to host three military bases, and more than 17,000 active duty military members and their families live and work in the area.

To the east of the City of Beaufort are the islands of Lady's, Coosaw, Judge, Cat, Cane, Gibbs, St. Helena, Dataw, Distant, Harbor, Hunting and Fripp. These are a mixture of residential and resort areas, with Harbor, Dataw and Fripp being gated communities made up of residential property and resort rentals, some of which are situated along world-class golf courses. Much rural and agricultural land on these islands is still worked by native Beaufortonians descended from slaves, and the shrimping and fishing industries based in these areas are of major importance to the local economy, as well as the fine dining enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

Circulation Area: The Beaufort Gazette distributes in Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties.

Lightning streaks across the sky over the
shrimp boat "Forgiven" during a Beaufort
County storm.
Customers: The Beaufort Gazette serves a diverse group of readers -- from business people to military men and women. The average age of a Beaufort Gazette reader is 37. About 40% of the readers are military families and 20% are newcomers. More than 50% of the readers have a college education and 80% own their own home. About 60% are employed full time while 17% are retired. The median household income is $44,371. Eighty-five percent of adults in the market read The Beaufort Gazette during each week and 71% of adults in the market read Sunday's Gazette during each month.

Site: The Beaufort Gazette/The Island Packet building and production facility are located at 10 Buck Island Road, Bluffton, S.C. The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet are printed on a state of the art KBA press at The Island Packet's new 50,000 square foot production facility. The Beaufort Gazette maintains a satellite office at 1556 Salem Road, Beaufort, S.C.

Daily: 29,300
Sunday: 30,000

Daily: 9,799
Sunday: 9,905

Daily: 26 to 32 pages
Sunday: 40 to 48 pages

Single-Copy Sales:
Daily – 26.4%
Sunday – 27.9%

Production: A 2006 KBA Prisma (double-wide, one around) became operational in December 2007. The 75,000 copies-per-hour press has five full-color towers with six reel stands.

Color: 40 broadsheet pages, full color all pages.

Newspaper Website:

Average Monthly Page Views/Unique Visitors:
More than 1.7 million page views and 256,000 unique visitors.

Employees: The Island Packet/The Beaufort Gazette have 123 full-time and eight part-time employees.

Newsroom Staff: 41 full-time Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette employees. The staffs of the two papers merged in 2009.

Major Awards:

2009 McClatchy President's Award

2009 South Carolina Press Association awards: 13 awards, including two first-place awards; finished third in the general excellence category.

Major Advertisers:  Belk, Bi-Lo, Publix, Walgreen's, Haverty's Furniture, Hargray Communications, Piggly Wiggly, Lowe's, JC Penney, Verizon and Stokes Automotive

Creative Ventures: Direct mail program, commercial printing, photos and article reprints

Special Publications: Experience Beaufort and the Sea Islands, a guide for visitors; The Source, informational guide for new residents and visitors; Beaufort Neighbors, a weekly zoned and extended reach tabloid news/advertising section distributed free to Beaufort residents; Medical Directory; Fit!, quarterly healthy lifestyle magazine; Coastal Carolina Destinations, out-of-market visitor magazine and TV Week.

Community Involvement: United Way of Beaufort County, American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, March of Dimes' WalkAmerica, Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry, Beaufort Water Festival, Taste of Beaufort and Beaufort Main Street's Night on the Town

The Community

The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels demonstrates
a tight formation loop seemingly around the
moon during a local airshow.
Market: Tourism, development and a strong military presence drive northern Beaufort County's economy and because of this, Beaufort County is the fastest-growing county in the state. More than 3 million visitors come to the Beaufort area each year to experience the history and charm of a Southern town pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy. Beaufort was named one of the Best Small Towns by Southern Living Magazine from 2003 to 2009 and was also named one of the most romantic towns on the East Coast by LIFE Magazine. The population is a mix of longtime residents, military families and retirees who continue to live and work here because of Beaufort's rich history, development potential and natural beauty, including the beaches and variety of recreational activities.

Location: Beaufort is located about 30 miles from Hilton Head Island, 45 miles from Savannah, Ga. and 65 miles from Charleston, S.C.

Transportation: Airports: Hilton Head Island Airport is located in the center of Hilton Head Island; Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is located in Savannah, Ga., 45 miles from Beaufort. I-95 is located about 30 miles from Beaufort. Amtrak stations are located in Savannah, Ga., and Yemassee, S.C. Greyhound Bus Lines operates terminals in Savannah and Beaufort.

Northern Beaufort County – 81,977

City Households:
Number of occupied households in northern Beaufort County -- 23,683

Household Growth Rate:
Northern Beaufort County is projected to grow 33% by 2025

85.3% with a high school degree or higher
28.7% with a bachelor's degree or higher

Ethnic Makeup:
White: 69.4%
African American: 25.1%
Hispanic: 4.4%

Median Age

Average Income:

Median Home Value:

Average Rent: One-bedroom apartment/condo: $500-$1,000
Two- bedroom apartment/condo: $600-$1,100

Climate: Beaufort boasts a temperate to semitropical climate with an average growing season of 293 days. Average temperatures: Winter, 50 degrees; Spring, 65 degrees; Summer; 85 degrees; Fall, 65 degrees.

Major Employers/Industries: City of Beaufort, Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Wal-Mart, U.S. Military, Lowe's, SCE&G, Beaufort County School District

A resident gets in some reading while taking
advantage of the great weather at The Sands
in Port Royal.
Major Retailers: Best Buy, Belk, Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Talbot's, Kmart, Sears, Steinmart, Walgreen's, CVS

Higher Learning: University of South Carolina, Beaufort; Technical College of the Lowcountry.

Culture: The Beaufort Museum, Parris Island Museum, Penn Center

Sports: Savannah Sand Gnats, minor league baseball, located in Savannah, Ga.

Major Annual Events: Beaufort Water Festival, Gullah Festival, Shrimp Festival, Taste of Beaufort, Spring and fall tour of homes, Soft Shell Crab Festival, Oktoberfest, Fourth of July festival, Heritage Days and holiday events, including tree lightings, A Night on the Town and the Beaufort Christmas parade.

Tourist Attractions: Hunting Island State Park with its beautiful beach and nature trails, Lowcountry Estuarium, shopping, dining and a variety of historical homes, churches and other sites.

Recreation: Beach, golf, tennis, parks, biking, kayaking, boating, fishing, nature tours, shrimping and crabbing.

Nightlife: Downtown Beaufort offers the most nightlife with a wide variety of dining and entertainment options.

Claim to Fame: Beaufort is the second-oldest city in South Carolina. Beaufort and the surrounding areas have also served as locations for a variety of movies including "The Great Santini," "The Big Chill," "The Prince of Tides," "Forrest Gump," "Something to Talk About," and "Forces of Nature."

Famous Citizens: Novelist Pat Conroy ("The Prince of Tides," "The Great Santini," "Beach Music") grew up in Beaufort and now lives on nearby Fripp Island. Former heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier was born in Beaufort and lived here until he was a teenager. Maude Odell, also known as Tillie Doremus, was one of the country's best-known stage actresses of the early 20th century, appearing for 400 nights in "The Prisoner of Zenda" in New York. Robert Smalls was a former slave who became a prominent landowner and politician in Beaufort. He was elected to the state House of Representatives (1868-1870) and Senate (1870-1875) before serving five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (1875-1879 and 1882-1887).

Trivia: The Bayou le Batre hospital named after Forrest Gump in the movie is actually the University of South Carolina, Beaufort Performing Arts Center. The Vietnam scenes of "Forrest Gump" were shot on what is now the Ocean Point Golf Course on Fripp Island.

The Tidalholm Mansion in Beaufort was used in both "The Great Santini" and "The Big Chill."

Area Information:
Contact the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce at:
P.O. Box 940
Beaufort, SC 29901

Recent Issues of the Newspaper:
The Beaufort Gazette's customer service department: 843-706-8100.

(This profile was last updated on Nov. 22, 2010)

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