The irony wasn’t lost on me when, a day after I wrote last month that newspaper print editions are on the edge of death, the news broke about the demise of Raleigh & Company.
While the end of the road for print editions still is undetermined, the stop sign for new stories on this website goes up later this week. It was somehow fitting that after writing numerous R&C stories about The News & Observer, that The N&O flipped the script by reporting the R&C news.
Media reporting is important, and the audience clearly is out there. The N&O seems to have recognized that since it is doing more of it in the last few weeks with the work of reporter Brooke Cain. It also has touted its “dedicated” TV and media beat in emails trying to lure back former subscribers.
As I’ve reported many times, nothing is certain in the media these days and R&C’s exit is just another example of that.
But between my first R&C story on off-site copy desks in May 2014 and this 264th and final story for the site, it’s been a nice ride that I’m sad to see end.
About 3½ years ago, Jordan Rogers — who had read my old personal blog — invited me to contribute to an exciting site he was starting. I’m grateful that Jordan welcomed me onto his site and that he had the expertise to create it, launch it and make it flourish.
While I don’t miss the job instability of the newspaper industry and wondering when the next round of layoffs would come, I still miss newspaper work. This side gig gave me a taste of it that I really have enjoyed.
As Raleigh & Company gained more attention, we were able to get credentialed for Carolina Hurricanes games. In August 2015, Rogers sold the site to Capitol Broadcasting Company and that seemed to bring with it more opportunities, including getting credentialed for North Carolina, Duke and N.C. State games.
I was able to report on UNC sports and Kendra Stowe did so for N.C. State sports. Jonas Pope IV covered both Duke and State. Pope is now on the consolidated sports staff of The N&O and The Herald-Sun, about to switch from the N.C. Central beat to covering recruiting.
I’ve been lucky enough to cover some major games for RaleighCo, including the 2015 ACC football championship, two ACC tournaments, several UNC-Duke games and a number of NCAA tournament games, including an NCAA regional final and the 2017 Final Four.
To say that covering my first Final Four was memorable doesn’t begin to describe what that was like, particularly when you have such a good view of the championship game (see above photo). It doesn’t approach my sons’ births (the second with me playing catcher in our bathroom), our wedding day, graduation days and other family-related events. Nothing beats family events. But after that, my Glendale experience tops anything else. All that comes anywhere close is running the Boston Marathon and, after that, running the New York City Marathon. Without Raleigh & Company, I wouldn’t have been in Glendale.
I’ve been a small part of a talented group of contributors who have come through at one time or another, including Richard Averitte, Jen Baker, Kevin Brewer, Lauren Brownlow, Tony Castleberry, James Curle, Austin Johnson, Shawn Krest (R&C’s editor), JP Mundy, Joel Orr, Joe Ovies, Marilyn Payne, Hayes Permar, Pope, Demetri Ravanos, Shaker Samman, Stowe, John Tobben, Isaac Weeks and others.
Castleberry tugged at the heartstrings with powerful writing about his path to sobriety, and there was so much other good writing from so many people on a variety of subjects.
There were Averitte’s interesting “People I Follow” interviews, Curle’s “Deconstructing Disney” podcasts, the QTNA podcasts from then-roommates Payne and Stowe and Permar’s well-done “NC Yesterday Today” videos. Ovies stoked his love of beer and Star Wars on R&C.
I’m happy to have shared this website space with all of the above contributors and will miss enjoying more of their work on Raleigh & Company. I hope to find their work elsewhere since it won’t all be at one place anymore.
Since word spread about the website demise, I’ve been asked one question a lot: What happens to the media column?
That media coverage, with a sports focus, shifts this week to SportsChannel8, where I’ll also write about North Carolina basketball. You can also find my work on other platforms, including the 919 blog.
Thanks for reading.
And, to Rogers and CBC, borrowing the signature signoff phrase from the late Larry Stogner: “thanks for the Company.”