Winston-Salem Journal

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Winston-Salem Journal
Front page on August 28, 2011
Owner(s)Berkshire Hathaway
PublisherAlton Brown
EditorAndrew Morrissey
Founded1897 (122 years ago) (1897)
LanguageAmerican English
Headquarters418 N. Marshall Street
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27101
United States
Circulation67,625 (weekday)
80,892 (Sunday)

The Winston-Salem Journal is an American daily newspaper primarily serving the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and its county, Forsyth County, North Carolina. It also features coverage of Northwestern North Carolina and circulates as far west as Tennessee and north to Virginia.

The paper is owned by Berkshire Hathaway. The Journal was founded in 1897.


The Journal is primarily distributed through Forsyth County and the county seat of Winston-Salem. However, the paper also is distributed in Alleghany County, Ashe County, Davidson County, Davie County, Stokes County, Surry County, Wilkes County, Watauga County, and Yadkin County.

The newspaper has an online presence called JournalNow.[1] The Journal's television partner is WGHP of High Point, North Carolina

The newspaper also produces a weekly entertainment and social tabloid called Relish. The Journal also publishes a monthly city magazine called Winston-Salem Monthly, which started in 2006. The publication also produces a semi-annual weddings publication named Carolina Weddings Magazine.


The Winston-Salem Journal, started by Charles Landon Knight, began publishing in the afternoons on April 3, 1897. The area's other newspaper, the Twin City Sentinel, also was an afternoon paper. Knight moved out of the area and the Journal had several owners before publisher D.A. Fawcett made it a morning paper starting January 2, 1902.

Later that summer, the Journal began publishing on Sundays, after which Fawcett's church removed him from its membership. In 1903, A.F.W. Leslie and his son, A.V. Leslie, bought the paper. The elder Leslie, an artist and the son of an engraver, made the Journal the state's first newspaper to have photographs.

Owen Moon bought the Journal in 1925, and the Sentinel, owned by Frank A. Gannett of the New York newspaper chain, in 1927.

The Sentinel began as the Twin City Daily on May 4, 1885, serving both Winston and Salem. The Weekly Gleaner, founded by John Christian Blum on January 6, 1829, served the small community of Salem and was later taken over by the weekly Western Sentinel, the first newspaper in Winston on May 16, 1856. The Twin City Daily, in turn, took over the Sentinel.

The Journal And Sentinel moved into a new building on North Marshall Street in 1927, and the Sunday edition was called The Journal and Sentinel. Editor Santford Martin advocated improvements in the roads, especially in "the forgotten provinces" of Northwest North Carolina. WSJS, an AM radio station, and later WSJS-FM and WSJS-TV, took their call letters from "Winston-Salem Journal Sentinel" because the newspapers once owned all three stations.

Attorney Gordon Gray bought the newspapers on April 30, 1937. His commitment to serving communities throughout the newspapers' coverage area continued even after Media General Inc. purchased the newspapers in 1969.

The "Call SAM (Sentinel Answer Man)" column appeared in the Sentinel starting October 10, 1966. Bill Williams wrote the column, assisted by Christine Friedenberg, who took over in 1984. David Watson answered questions as the "Straight Answer Man" in the Journal from 1985 until his death in 2000. Ronda Bumgardner was the "Straight Answer Ma'am" from 2000 to 2009, and Tim Clodfelter became SAM in 2010.[2]

In March 1985, at a time when many afternoon newspapers could not compete, The Sentinel closed. This meant a stronger morning newspaper, and an increase in circulation from 73,000 to over 94,000, with Sunday circulation of 106,000.

In September 1994, the Journal moved some of its operations into a new 140,000 square feet (13,000 m2) building on East 5th Street, with a Mitsubishi press that allowed improvements in color printing.

Other publications from the Journal serve older adults, people with pets, families with children in Forsyth County schools, prospective brides and young parents.

In 2004, the paper refused to endorse a presidential candidate.[3] The paper endorsed Democratic President Barack Obama for 2012 presidential election even though it endorsed Obama's opponent Republican Senator John McCain in 2008. Its editorial-page had not endorsed a Democratic Party presidential candidate since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. [4] The paper endorsed Libertarian Gary Johnson for the 2016 presidential election and is the second newspaper to endorse the Libertarian candidate in this election cycle instead ether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, the paper cited their distrust of both major candidates and of status quo politics in the American political system.[5]

Cutbacks and sale[edit]

In August 2007, the Journal reported it was changing its daily business section and cutting five positions. Two of the positions eliminated were in the newsroom.[6]

In April 2010, the Journal's parent company, Media General, announced that it was dropping all Winston-Salem-based copy editor and design positions, shifting production to consolidated editing centers in Richmond, Va., and Tampa, Fla. Media General also announced that they are going to use a portion of their $1 million of cost savings to "focus on intensified local news coverage."[7]

In October 2010, the paper's executive editor was let go as a cost-cutting measure.[8]

On December 15, 2010, the Winston-Salem Journal fired another 18 employees, in the closing of its copy desk.[9]

On April 9, 2012, roughly two years after the cutbacks, the Winston-Salem Journal's parent company, Media General, listed revenue that included revenue projections "if newspaper division is sold".[10]

On May 17, 2012, the sale of most of Media General's newspapers to BH Media, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway was announced.[11]

Pulitzer Prizes[edit]

  • 1971—Meritorious public service, staff; "for coverage of environmental problems, as exemplified by a successful campaign to block strip mining operation that would have caused irreparable damage to the hill country of northwest North Carolina."


  1. ^ "Winston-Salem Journal".
  2. ^ Clodfelter, Tim (October 8, 2016). "Ask SAM: SAM celebrates 50th anniversary". Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  3. ^ "JR Grass Roots". JR Grass Roots. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007.
  4. ^ "Obama is best choice for president". Archived from the original on October 16, 2012.
  5. ^ board, Journal editorial. "Decision 2016: Gary Johnson for president".
  6. ^ "Article 404 - Daily Comet - Thibodaux, LA". Daily Comet. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  7. ^ "W-S Journal moving functions to Fla., Va. - Greensboro - Triad Business Journal". Archived from the original on April 11, 2010.
  8. ^ "W-S Journal executive editor to leave - Greensboro - Triad Business Journal". Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 30, 2010. Retrieved December 15, 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^
  11. ^ Lieberman, David (May 17, 2012). "Media General Shares Soar After Warren Buffett Agrees To Buy Its Newspapers". Archived from the original on November 11, 2013.

External links[edit]