(2003 circulation: 13,910 daily and 14,558 Sunday). A daily newspaper published weekday afternoons and weekend mornings in the city of Aiken. The Aiken Standard traces its origins to the short lived Aiken Press. The Aiken Press ran from 1867 to 1868, with the noted botanist Henry William Ravenel serving as its first editor. Next came the Aiken Journal in 1871, which became the Courier Journal in 1874. In 1879 F. B. Henderson bought the newspaper for $1,500 and also purchased the Aiken Review, then combined the two into the Aiken Journal and Review. In 1904 Alva K. Lorenz and future U.S. senator James F. Byrnes bought the newspaper. In 1934 Ben J. King purchased the Journal and Review from Lorenz and combined it with the Aiken Standard and South Carolina Gazette (formed in 1930), merging the two newspapers to create the Aiken Standard and Review. King listed himself as manager, president, and principal owner. In March 1938 King and his wife, Annie, became sole owners of the publication, which was the only newspaper in Aiken County at the time.
The Aiken area had been a major winter tourist area, but the 1952 arrival of the Savannah River atomic energy plant triggered a boom. The Standard and Review became a daily, publishing five mornings a week, and in 1969 it converted to an afternoon newspaper. That same year, the newspaper shortened its name to the Aiken Standard. On November 15, 1968, Aiken Communications, Inc., a subsidiary of the Evening Post Publishing Company of Charleston, bought the Standard and Review, naming Samuel Cothran publisher and editor. Cothran retired in 1989 and was succeeded by Scott B. Hunter, who began his career as the newspaper’s sports editor in 1973. In 2002 Hunter was the publisher and Jeffrey B. Wallace was editor.
McNeely, Patricia G. The Palmetto Press: The History of South Carolina’s Newspapers and the Press Association. Columbia: South Carolina Press Association, 1998.
Moore, John Hammond, comp. and ed. South Carolina Newspapers. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1988.