The Chronicle celebrates anniversary…48 years and counting

The Chronicle celebrates anniversary…48 years and counting
September 08
07:14 2022

This month Winston-Salem’s oldest and most respected community newspaper is celebrating our 48th anniversary. A lot has changed since the paper was started in 1974, but when it comes to providing relevant local content, The Chronicle is still in a league of its own. 

Ernie Pitt started the weekly newspaper in 1974 after earning his degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At the time Pitt was starting the newspaper, he was also working at the Greensboro News and Record, and he would travel to Forsyth County on his days off to lay the groundwork for the Winston-Salem Chronicle Publishing Company. 

With just a dollar and a dream, and help from his future wife Elaine, Pitt started publishing The Chronicle on Sept. 5, 1974. Over the years the weekly paper, which is published every Thursday, has become known for reporting positive news stories and shining a light on stories in the Black community that would’ve otherwise gone untold. 

After serving as owner and publisher for 43 years, in 2017 Pitt sold the newspaper to The Chronicle Media Group LLC and Winston-Salem City Councilmember James Taylor, who serves as publisher. 

Pitt made the announcement publicly at the paper’s annual Community Awards Gala that same year, while addressing a crowd of more than 500. Reflecting on his life, he said, “Besides my family, it has been this newspaper. But it has come time, at 71 years old, that I give up the reins.”

After the announcement was made, Taylor, who is a native of Winston-Salem, commended Pitt for his dedication to the community and said he looked forward to leading the paper for the next 40 years. 

Today, The Chronicle reaches a circulation of nearly 8,000 and is mailed to cities and states across the country. Over the years, The Chronicle has garnered numerous awards from the N.C. Press Association for its news coverage, photography and graphic design. 

The Chronicle is also known for its community events, including the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Prayer Breakfast, Gospel Fest and Jazz Fest, which are held annually at the Carolina Classic Fair, the Lash/Chronicle Junior Varsity Basketball Tournament, and the Community Service Awards. The Chronicle forged partnerships with several different organizations including Maximum Enterprises, the Winston-Salem Urban League, and the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem & Vicinity, to support  minority-owned businesses and provide scholarships for local high school students. 

“The Chronicle is Winston-Salem’s oldest and most respected community newspaper, and we’re excited to be celebrating 48 years of service,” said Taylor when discussing the current state of the paper.

“The Chronicle doesn’t just promote Black journalism, we create jobs, we highlight small businesses, uplift families, and we’re all about the advancement of our culture. When I pause to consider the state of our country and even our local community, you can see why our resolve has never been stronger to continue the work that we do.” 

When looking toward the future, staff will continue to publish the monthly For Seniors Only section and look to bring back the Arts & Lifestyle section. The newsroom and marketing department are also working to grow The Chronicle’s social media presence. Followers can also plan to see more live content. 

“Looking ahead, we want to bring content that hyper focuses on our community and promotes a deeper level of interaction with our subscribers and followers, said Bridget Elam, The Chronicle’s managing editor.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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