The June 16, 2009 front page of
The Charlotte Observer
|Owner(s)||The McClatchy Company|
|Headquarters||550 South Caldwell Street|
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202 United States
The Charlotte Observer is an American, English language newspaper serving Charlotte, North Carolina and its metro area. The Observer was founded in 1886. As of 2020, it has the second largest circulation of any newspaper in the Carolinas. It is owned by The McClatchy Company.
The Observer primarily serves Charlotte and Mecklenburg County and the surrounding counties of Iredell, Cabarrus, Union, Lancaster, York, Gaston, Catawba, and Lincoln. Home delivery service in outlying counties has declined in recent years, with delivery times growing later as the paper has outsourced circulation services outside the primary Charlotte area.
Circulation at The Charlotte Observer has been declining for many years. The period of May 2011 showed that Charlotte Observer circulation totaled 155,497 daily and 212,318 Sunday. 2017 Print Circulation Daily: 69,987 and Sunday: 106,434.
The Observer offices also include editors and designers that makeup the McClatchy NewsDesk-East, which is responsible for the production of The Charlotte Observer and McClatchy newspapers from across the region.
From 1927 to 2016, The Charlotte Observer was headquartered at 600 South Tryon Street. The facility included editorial offices, management offices, advertising offices, production, plus a large printing facility with a tunnel and underground railway system to feed paper to the presses. In 2016, the editorial offices moved to the NASCAR building on South Caldwell Street. The old facility was demolished and redeveloped into office space.
The paper was founded in 1886 as the Charlotte Chronicle. The Chronicle was sold to Joseph Caldwell in 1892, and began appearing as the Charlotte Daily Observer on March 13, 1982. It was purchased by Knight Newspapers in 1955. Knight merged with Ridder Publications to form Knight Ridder in 1974.  The Observer eventually became the fourth-largest newspaper in the Knight Ridder chain (behind The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, Detroit Free Press and Miami Herald). In 1959, The Observer purchased The Charlotte News, Charlotte's afternoon newspaper. All operations were merged except editorial content, which was fused in 1983. The Observer ended circulation of the afternoon News in 1985.
McClatchy purchased most of Knight Ridder's newspapers, including The Observer, in 2006. This made The Observer a sister publication of the state's second-largest paper, The News and Observer of Raleigh; and of The Herald of Rock Hill, the primary newspaper for the South Carolina side of the metro area. As of spring 2008, it is the fifth-largest newspaper in the McClatchy chain (behind The Kansas City Star, Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee and Fort Worth Star-Telegram). McClatchy's share value has been in decline since the purchase. The stock has lost over 95% of its value, far worse than many remaining newspaper companies.
On March 7, 2020, the Observer made the Saturday edition digital only.
The Charlotte Observer has won five Pulitzer Prizes:
- 1968 – Editorial cartooning, Eugene Payne
- 1981 – Meritorious public service, staff; "For Brown Lung: A Case of Deadly Neglect, a hard-hitting look at the terrible health consequences workers suffered from cotton dust produced in the region's textile mills."
- 1988 – Editorial cartooning, Doug Marlette (shared with the Atlanta Constitution)
- 1988 – Meritorious public service, staff; "For its investigation into the misuse of funds by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and their PTL ministries."
- 2014 – Editorial cartooning, Kevin Siers
In 2019, the Charlotte Observer prices were: daily, $1.25 and Sunday/Thanksgiving Day, $3. Price is higher outside Mecklenburg & adjacent counties/states. As of 2020, an annual digital subscription is $15.99 per month.
- Jack Betts (journalist), past member of editorial board
- List of newspapers in North Carolina
- Richard Oppel, Editor (1978–1993)
- "Our Markets". Sacramento, California: McClatchy Company. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
- "The Charlotte Observer". McClatchy. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
- "Alliance for Audited Media (NC Newspapers)". Alliance for Audited Media. 2019-09-01. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
- "Member Directory". North Carolina Press Association. Archived from the original on March 20, 2017. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
- "The Charlotte Observer". mcclatchy.com. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
- "Total Circ for US Newspapers". Alliance for Audited Media. March 31, 2013. Archived from the original on March 6, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- "Breaking News, Sports, Weather & More, The Charlotte Observer". charlotteobserver.com. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
- "ThatsRacin". thatsracin.com.
- "Biz Columns Blogs". Charlotte Observer.
- Claiborne, Jack (1986). The Charlotte Observer. The University of North Carolina Press. pp. 251-277. ISBN 0-8078-1712-0.
- Chisenhall, Sherry (March 1, 2020). "Local Observer moves to digital Saturdays, with expanded Friday, Sunday print editions". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
- "Charlotte Observer subscriptions". Charlotte Observer.com. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
Media related to The Charlotte Observer at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Charlotte Five
- Stepp, Carl Sessions (April–May 2007). "Caught in the Contradiction". American Journalism Review. Retrieved 2007-04-18.
- "McClatchy's falling stock price since purchasing The Charlotte Observer". Yahoo.