The McClatchy Company
The Herald
132 W. Main St.
Rock Hill, SC 29732


The Paper

Founded: The Herald's origin dates back to The Lantern, a weekly newspaper started in 1872. Owned by a local entrepreneur, J. M. Ivy, it was renamed The Herald in 1874, and it would be known as The Evening Herald until 1986, when a Sunday edition was added. The publication time switched to mornings in 1989.

The Herald was privately held by several owners until 1985 when The News & Observer Co. of Raleigh purchased the newspaper from the Patrick family. Its last publisher under family ownership was Wayne Patrick, whose family still lives in Rock Hill. On Jan. 1, 1990, The Herald and its three community publications – the Yorkville Enquirer, the Clover Herald and Lake Wylie Magazine – were purchased by The McClatchy Co. The Herald bought the Fort Mill Times in 1998.

Key Executives:
Debbie Abels, President and Publisher
Paul Osmundson, Editor
Mary Pettus, Retail/Community Newspaper Advertising Manager
Sonya VanSickle, Classified/Digital Advertising Manager
Mark Webster, Regional Vice President for Human Resources
Richard Rinehart, Production Director
Michelle Reid, Circulation Manager
Victor Fields, CFO

General Hiring Contact: For information about employment, contact Beth Taylerson, human resources director, at 803-329-4048, or e-mail her at

Market: The Herald serves the greater Rock Hill, S.C., area, which includes York, Chester and parts of Lancaster counties. York County, established in 1785, is the second fastest-growing county in South Carolina, with more than 190,000 residents. It borders the Charlotte (N.C.) metropolitan area. There are nine municipalities within York County: Clover, Fort Mill, Hickory Grove, McConnells, Rock Hill, Sharon, Smyrna, Tega Cay and York. Chester County has 33,228 residents. Lancaster County has 63,113 residents.

Circulation Area: York and Chester counties, as well as to subscribers in the city limits of Lancaster, Van Wyck and Indian Land in Lancaster County.

Customers: Herald readers span the demographic spectrum from highly educated professionals to retired textile workers. It serves two counties, and a portion of another, in which the textile industry was the principal source of employment for roughly a century following the Civil War. Over the past three decades, due to its proximity to Charlotte, N.C., the economy has become more diverse. Roughly one-third of the work force commutes out of county, principally to Charlotte, the second-largest financial center in the United States as well as transportation hub.

Site: The Herald building is centrally located on 5 acres on a main thoroughfare of Rock Hill, within a short walk from City Hall and the Chamber of Commerce building. The Herald also has bureaus in Fort Mill, York and Lake Wylie, where the community publications are produced.

front page

Readership: Daily: 76,920; Sunday: 91,313

Circulation: Daily: 24,147; Sunday: 27,419

Size: Average daily paper: 32 pages; average Sunday paper: 46 pages

Single-Copy Sales: Daily (Monday through Saturday) 19%; Sunday 25%

Production: Goss Urbanite

Color: Color available daily: 16 full-color pages and four spot-color pages on a 32-page broadsheet. Color available Sunday: 12 full-color pages and four spot-color pages on a 40-page broadsheet.


Average Monthly Page Views/Unique Visitors: 888,000/ 107,000

Other Websites:

Employees: The Herald and its weeklies employ 130 full-time and 38 part-time employees.

Bureaus: The Herald has small satellite offices in Lake Wylie, Fort Mill and York (S.C.), where reporters, advertising account executives and management of the community publications are located.

Major Awards: he Herald, its community publications and its website,, have all won top South Carolina Press Association (SCPA) awards for journalism and advertising excellence. Both The Herald and the Fort Mill Times have won the press association’s coveted General Excellence award. The Herald most recently won first place for Public Service in the SCPA awards competition (2005) for daily newspapers of its circulation size (26,000-85,000). Altogether, the Herald and its weekly publications won 47 first- and second-place SCPA awards in 2005.

Major Advertisers: The greater Rock Hill area has several retail zones and shopping centers. Frequent advertisers range from national telecommunications companies such as Cingular Wireless and SunCom to local automotive companies, hospitals, banks and department stores. They include Burns Chevrolet/Cadillac, Piedmont Hospital, Founders Federal, Belk, JC Penney, Best Buy, Target, Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, Pep Boys, Bi-lo and Harris Teeter.

Creative Ventures: The Herald’s Marketing Department offers full-service advertising agency services, from targeted direct mail and databases to media placement, creative services, printing, web development, and marketing consultations. The group also coordinates six annual events in upstate South Carolina: the Spring Home and Living Show; World’s Largest Yard Sale, Area Parade of Homes; Bridal Expo; Women’s Expo; and the Cooking and Lifestyles show.

Special Publications: Ride in Style high-end automotive guide; York County Magazine; Buzzie Awards Winner’s Section; Focus on Fort Mill newcomers’ guide; Emergency Services guide; Herald Homes & Real Estate section.

Well-Known Newsroom Personalities: Editor Terry Plumb writes a weekly “Plumb Line” column; TV writer Bob Taylor; local columnist Andrew Dys; Carolina Panthers writer Darin Gantt.

Community Involvement: The Herald generously supports a number of charitable and civic campaigns, and Herald employees are represented on many community boards. The Herald also sponsors an annual holiday giving campaign, called Empty Stocking Fund.

The Community

Rock Hill City Hall
Rock Hill City Hall
Market: Ideally situated for growth near the North Carolina border, York County is the second-fastest-growing county in the state, according to 2005 reports. While the state population increased by only 4.3% between 2000 and 2004, it grew by 10.9% in York County, where Rock Hill is the largest city, with 57,902 residents. The county seat is in the historic town of York, with 7,028 residents, but most of the newcomer activity centers around Fort Mill township, home of Springs Industries and former home of Heritage USA, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s failed Christian theme park. Along with lakeside living options, numerous public parks and green space, the area boasts a mild climate, affordable housing and easy access to the Carolina beach destinations. By car, Charleston is only about three hours away, and Hilton Head is about four hours. Fishing, hunting, NASCAR racing, antiquing, beachgoing and waterskiing are among the favorite pastimes.

Location: The Herald is approximately 20 miles south of downtown Charlotte, N.C., and approximately 85 miles north of Columbia, S.C., the state capital. All major Southern cities are within easy driving distance, from Atlanta (277 miles or five ½ hours)  to Orlando, Fla. (561 miles and 11 hours). Asheville is just under three hours from Rock Hill and Raleigh is just under four hours.

Transportation: I-77, a major link between the Midwest and the Southeast cuts through the eastern portion of Rock Hill. Four east/west interstates intersect with I-77 within a two-hour drive. The major airport serving The Herald's circulation airport is Charlotte/Douglas Airport, within a half-hour's drive of Rock Hill. It is a U.S. Airways hub. Light rail lines are under construction in the greater Charlotte area to handle a growing commuter population. Express bus service is available for workers who travel between Rock Hill and Charlotte.

Population: There are nine municipalities in York County. Rock Hill is the largest city, and the commercial center, with nearly 58,000 residents. Fort Mill, a growing suburban community between Rock Hill and Charlotte, N.C., has 8,041 residents. The town of York has 7,028 residents. Of the others: Tega Cay has 4,264 residents; Clover has 4,014; Hickory Grove has 362; McConnells has 312; Smyrna has 63 and Sharon has 434.

Households: There are approximately 73,000 households in York County. There are approximately 13,000 in Chester County and 24,000 in Lancaster County.

Household Growth Rate: The number of households in York County grew by 30% between 1990 and 2000, and the growth rate is expected to be 19% between 2004 and 2009. Lancaster County is also growing at a steady pace, from 12.5% between 1990 and 200. Chester County’s population decreased by 2.5% over the same period.

Education: In York County, 28.5% graduate from high school; 20.7% go to college; 14.1% earn a bachelor's degree and 6.8% earn a graduate or professional degree.

Ethnic Makeup: 77.7% white; 19.6% black; 2.7% other (an estimated 2% are Hispanic).

Median Age: York County: 32.5 years.

Average Income: Median household income in York County in 2003 was $45,662. In Lancaster County it was $34,267. In Chester County it was $33,017.

Median Home Value: Housing prices vary widely in the tri-county area. In 2005 in York County, the average price for a single-family home was $215,000, up 6% from the year before. Homes on Lake Wylie, closer to Charlotte, average $50,000 more per home. Home prices in Chester County, between Rock Hill and Columbia, averaged $68,000 in 2005.

Average Rent: $600/month

Lake Wylie
Lake Wylie is popular for sailing, boating and fishing.

Climate: Many people choose to live in the Carolinas because of the weather, which is seasonal, but mild. High temperatures stay in the 70s most of the year, and rarely drop below 20 degrees in the winter. Snow is rare. July and August are the hottest months, with temperatures in the high 90s.

Major Employers/Industries: Health care and education rank first and second, respectively, in employment. Major employers include Winthrop University, Piedmont Medical Center and Comporium Communications. Others include Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Bowater Coated & Limited Papers Division; Catawba Nuclear Station; Ross Distribution; U.S. Foodservice; CitiFinancial; Muzak and Black & Decker.

Major Retailers: Key retailers in the area include Belk, Target, Best Buy, JC Penney, Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, Office Depot, Michaels, TJ Maxx, Linens & Things, Goody's, Talbot's, Berry's Furniture and Queen City TV.

Higher Learning: Winthrop University, York Technical College, University of South Carolina at Lancaster, Clinton Junior College.

Culture: Winthrop University Department of Theatre and Dance; Yorkville Players; Gallery 5; Center for the Arts; Museum of York County, McCelvey Center, Rock Hill Community Theater; Clover Community Theatre; Chester Little Theatre; Rock Hill Music Club; York County Choral Society; York County Ballet Company; Community Playhouse of Lancaster County.

Sports: Hiking, fishing, boating, waterskiing, bicycling, soccer, tennis, softball, golf. The area is home to 14 public and private golf courses as well as tournament-caliber aquatics, tennis, softball and soccer facilities. Winthrop University is a perennial contender in several Division I sports. Professional teams include the Carolina Panthers, the Charlotte Checkers, the Charlotte Bobcats and the Charlotte Knights AAA baseball team. Lowe’s Motor Speedway, which hosts NASCAR racing that draws more than 200,000 fans to its April and October races, is less than 30 minutes away.

Major Annual Events: Come-See-Me, a two-week celebration of spring; the Downtown Blues Festival; Fort Mill’s Fest-i-Fun street festival; the annual Battle of Huck’s Defeat Revolutionary War reenactment; Christmas Candlelight Tours at historic Brattonsville.

Paramount's Carowinds Theme Park offers plenty of water fun.

Tourist Attractions: Historic Brattonsville, 14 miles south of Rock Hill, is a restored, 18th century plantation, which hosts many educational programs throughout the year. Paramount’s Carowinds is a 105-acre theme and water park that attracts visitors from throughout the southeast. Landsford Canal State Park, in Chester County, offers visitors a chance to see the ruins from an elaborate system that once linked cotton suppliers in the Piedmont with buyers in Charleston. The park provides refuge for the largest number of Rocky Shoal spider lilies believed to be found anywhere.

Recreation: York, Chester and Lancaster counties offer unlimited opportunity for recreation, from boating and fishing on Lake Wylie to a network of hiking/biking trials. The City of Rock Hill operates a number of parks that are the venue for major regional or national tournaments in softball, soccer, tennis and swimming. The Anne Springs Close Greenway is a 2,300-acre park in Fort Mill that offers hiking, biking, horseback riding and fishing.

Nightlife: Rock Hill has a number of excellent restaurants, both casual and dressy, and lakeside dining is available in the outlying areas of the county. There are nightclubs, karaoke bars, dinner theater, movie theaters, Irish pubs and other options for those who like to stay out late. York County’s proximity to Charlotte opens up even more options.

Claim to Fame: The name Rock Hill dates back to the early 1800s, when workers discovered a small hill when building a railroad through the area. The name didn’t officially stick until it was accepted by the U.S. Postal Service in 1852. During the Civil War, Rock Hill was a transfer point for Confederate troops and supplies. It was the first city to be designated both an All-America City and a Model City at the same time, in 1970.

Trivia: Dusty Rhodes, a former star of the Rock Hill semi-pro baseball team, achieved hero status when his hitting helped the Cleveland Indians win the 1954 World Series. The famous Anderson automobile was manufactured in Rock Hill from 1915 to 1925. The plant produced 7,000 cars, the first ever to be built with headlight foot dimmers and powered convertible tops.

Area Information: York County Visitors and Convention Bureau, 803-329-5200.

Recent Issues of the Newspaper: Contact The Herald ‘s customer service line, 803-329-4000.

(This profile was last updated on March 23, 2010)

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