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Sun News

Sun News downsizes. What’s next for print news?

The Myrtle Beach Sun News relocated today. The newspaper downsized to a new office inside the Coastal Carolina National Bank on 38th Avenue North.

The Sun News, the State Newspaper, and the Charlotte Observer are each owned by the corporate news team of McClatchy.

USA TODAY ARTICLE OF FEB 2020

This after USA TODAY published news of McClatchy’s bankruptcy filing just last month. As the article reported:

From 2006 to 2018, the company’s advertising revenue and circulation revenue declined 80% and 59%, respectively, according to a court filing.

McClatchy has slashed costs and paid off debt in recent years in a bid to halt its downward spiral. The company has gone from more than 15,000 employees in 2006 to fewer than 3,000 in 2019, according to a court filing.

Competitors, including USA TODAY owner Gannett, have faced similar hurdles. In 2019, Gannett agreed to a sale to GateHouse owner New Media Investment Group in a deal that created the largest U.S. news company by print circulation and one of the largest by digital audience.

Bankruptcies often come with the risk of closures, asset sales and layoffs, if not outright liquidation.

Why this matters

MyrtleBeachSC news is highly concerned about what happens to local and state politics should major news outlets lose market share and have diminished readership.

WHO ELSE WILL HOLD LOCAL BUREAUCRATS AND ELECTED OFFICIALS ACCOUNTABLE?

EVERYTHING IS DOWNSIZING, BUT GOVERNMENT

Government continues to grow out of control. As independent.org reports: One dimension of government is the burden of taxation. In the early years of the 20th century, federal, state, and local governments took in revenues equal to 6 to 7 percent of the gross national product (GNP). By 1950, revenues had risen to 24 percent of GNP. Over the past 40 years the tax proportion has drifted irregularly upward, and now stands at about 32 percent of GNP.

The highest paid non-owner, employees in the City of Myrtle Beach all work for the government. The next highest wage earners are well paid contractors who do insider government work. The need for local news is obvious.

ONLY SMALL AND ADAPTABLE FIRMS MOVE FORWARD

The downsize is a wise move. There is no real money to be made printing news in this new century. Why?

The chart below shows how precipitously circulation is falling in the age of digital.

We wish our friends at the Sun News well. Horry County needs a healthy Sun News.

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About David Hucks

Born in 1961, David is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

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