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Sept. 21 - Savannah Herald temporarily ends print edition, sells building and moves to digital publishing

Category: Local Media & Agencies

By Lou Phelps. Savannah Business Journal

September 21, 2016 - One of Savannah’s two, historically black-owned weekly newspapers, The Savannah Herald, has temporarily ceased printed publication, but will keep its digital publishing operations at www.savannahherald.net active. They intend to continue to publish a weekly edition, digitally/  

The family has sold its building at 1802 Barnard Street in Savannah’s Historic District, and intends to move to new office space in the near future, according to a writer for the newspaper.

The paper has been a family business since its inception, with grandson Kenneth A. Adams currently serving as Managing Editor and his sister Khristi Adams-Chisholm serving as the Associate Editor. Their father, former Mayor Floyd Adams Jr. was publisher for many years.  Kenneth Adams was unavailable for comment/

When The Herald printed its first edition on April 24, 1946, none of its three co-founders had a personal political agenda to promote, or any idea that the eight-page newspaper they’d just printed would evolve into the most popular and powerful Black weekly ever printed in Savannah,” according to a history of the newspaper published by the paper.

“Augustus “Gus” Hayes, 35, was a flamboyant night club owner with a taste for expensive suits and elegant entertaining. Houston L. Tolbert, 50, was a World War I veteran and one of the few Black master printers in Savannah. And Floyd “Pressboy” Adams, Sr., 30, was the silent partner who ensured that business flowed smoothly and remained profitable at The Herald Publishing Company, which the trio of enterprising businessmen and friends founded in 1945.

Each of the co-founders would serve as Publisher of The Herald within its first three years of existence. Tolbert, who’d been a pressman for The Savannah Journal, was tapped to become the first Editor and Publisher of The Herald. He served in that position from April 24, 1946 until mid-1948. Hayes was the Publisher of The Herald from mid-1948 until sometime in 1949, when Adams purchased and became sole owner of both The Herald Publishing Company and The Herald. And Adams was Editor and Publisher of The Herald from 1949 until his death on May 7, 1983 at age 67. As Publisher of The Herald longer than anyone else in its 60-year history—34 years—his name became synonymous with the newspaper.”

“The goal of Floyd Adams, Sr. and his partners when they established The Herald in April of 1945 was to make instant stars of everyday working people by publishing their photographs and news about them alongside of Black socialites, business professionals, educators, ministers and masonic and club leaders.

It was this formula for success that has kept The Herald in business and dear to the hearts of its loyal readers for 65 continuous years.

“The Herald received its title, “Savannah’s Black Voice - Making It Plain” because of its coverage during the Civil Rights Movement Era of the 1960’s. Daniel Wright, a retired educator and former President of the Georgia Teachers’ Association, stated, “In my opinion, The Herald is the ears, eyes, and voice of our people in Savannah and all over. The Herald was organized with the clear vision to lift the veil over the Black people of Savannah and the surrounding areas.”

Floyd Adams, Jr., was the eldest son of Floyd “Pressboy,” and was co-publisher with his sister Wilhelmina Adams.  Mayor Adams passed away in February 2014.

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