It was sitting on the lower newsstand rack at Sutton’s Drug Store, amid a sea of its local and national peers. Vince Carter was on the cover, heading for the rim at Mainland High School.
I came across that issue of Inside Carolina in the summer of 1995 during a visit to
Franklin Street. The publication was concluding its first year and was in a tabloid format
on newsprint, at a size that had to be folded in half to fit on the rack.
Over the following six years, I followed Inside Carolina as a subscriber, reading each
issue that arrived in my mailbox. The staff, content and design evolved, but maintained
the same overall feel and approach.
The first major change came in 2001, with the arrival of new ownership. Out was
the tabloid format, in was a glossy cover with newsprint interior and a traditional size.
And the following year a new publisher produced the next step, moving the issues to all-
glossy paper. That’s also when I came on board as the magazine’s editor.
My first editor’s note in the August 2002 issue outlined our vision for a product that
complemented online coverage and was a keepsake. I wrote: “The Internet has become
an important component of sports reporting and the goal of the IC Magazine is to create
a high-quality monthly publication that goes hand-in-hand with the web site.”
We never lost sight of that goal. While InsideCarolina.com carried the torch as the leading
independent online home for Tar Heel sports and recruiting coverage, the magazine grew in size and quality. The page count more than doubled, with the addition of many new features, and we moved to an all-color, bound product.
We watched those other magazines that were perched next to Inside Carolina on the
newsstand back in ’95 fade away, as our team created 130 issues.
The Inside Carolina Magazine not only survived, but thrived because of our vision and a
staff that understood both mediums and managed to balance print with online coverage.
Thirteen years ago I wrote that the online medium had “become an important component” of our—and everyone’s—reporting efforts. Now it’s safe to say that it’s the only
medium for news.
With that in mind, the time as come to stop printing the Inside Carolina Magazine
and put our entire focus online. Thus, the 2015 Recruiting Yearbook will be our final issue.
Scout Publishing, which has printed and shipped our magazine throughout those 130
issues, has decided to shift its print investment to its online operation (and Inside Carolina’s web site will be a beneficiary of that added online investment).
I’m immensely proud of the work we did in these pages and the monthly product
we created. We had great writers and they authored great stories, which were brought to
life with great photographs. Our strategy in this industry has always been to earn respect
through our work and the magazine embodied that.
While I’m excited at the growth this will enable online, I will miss flipping through
the finished issue each month with a sense of pride and accomplishment. That need
for a tangible product that you feel and hold is admittedly outdated in this era, but that
doesn’t mean it wasn’t rewarding.
More than anything else I’ll miss working with our staff on these issues each month—
from editing and storyboarding with J.B. and Tommy, photos with Jim, layout with Jay and
Shannon, and our stable of writers, including some who have been here almost as long as I have. And I’d be remiss without citing Buck Sanders, who hired me to run this magazine and whose ownership of Inside Carolina breathed much needed new life into the publication 14 years ago. And also Scout CEO Jim Heckman, for his vision to overhaul the product at the same time I joined. Everyone else involved, from those listed on the staff page each month to those who have provided invaluable assistance behind the scenes (you know who you are), I’m grateful for the hard work and years of contributions.
The beauty of this is it’s not a goodbye. As most of our magazine readers know,
we’re at InsideCarolina.com every day, with an even bigger staff, including members of
this magazine staff. J.B. runs our video studio, Tommy hosts the podcasts, Jim’s photos
are omnipresent, and many of the magazine writers contribute articles to the web site.
That’s in addition to the beat writers, the analysts, the columnists and the recruiting
experts. For on-location team coverage and analysis, for breaking news, for recruiting
scoop, for fan community—our web site is the online home for the Tar Heel sports fan,
and has been for quite some time.
During this transition, if you have a subscription that combined this magazine with
the web site, we’re automatically adding months to your online subscription. And if you
just had a magazine subscription, we’re gifting you an online subscription—contact our
call center during weekday hours at 888-501-5752 to activate that access.
And if you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether it was one issue, 130 issues, or more, thanks for reading,