The publisher’s son, Jack O’Dowd, became editor in 1951 for a short-lived stay. A moderate on racial issues, he endorsed the U.S. Supreme Court’s desegregation decision, angering Klansmen and other conservatives.
(2003 circulation: 32,776 daily and 35,504 Sunday). A morning newspaper published daily and Sunday in the city of Florence, the Morning News was established as a daily in 1922. The paper’s roots can be traced to the Farmers’ Friend, founded in 1887 by the editor and publisher J. W. Hammond. Following a series of mergers and renamings, the newspaper became a weekly published by the Florence Daily Times, which had been established in 1894. The Daily Times merged in 1925 with the Morning News Review, and in 1929 the newspaper became the Morning News.
The publisher’s son, Jack O’Dowd, became editor in 1951 for a short-lived stay. A moderate on racial issues, he endorsed the U.S. Supreme Court’s desegregation decision, angering Klansmen and other conservatives. Forced to flee the state, he was later employed by the Chicago Sun-Times. James A. Rogers, a former employee, returned in 1956 as editor and became a strong progressive spokesman. After J. M. O’Dowd died in 1970, the newspaper was run by a committee and then by the board of directors, including surviving family members, for several years before being sold to Thomson Newspapers in 1981. In October 1995 the newspaper moved to a new facility on Dargan Street. The next year the publisher Thomas Marschel and the editor Frank Sayles added the words “Voice of the Pee Dee” to the newspaper’s name to underscore its regional scope. On August 1, 2000, the Morning News was sold to Media General, Inc.
McNeely, Patricia G. The Palmetto Press: The History of South Carolina’s Newspapers and the Press Association. Columbia: South Carolina Press Association, 1998.