“It’s been a hell of a journey,” said Mark Johnston, president and CEO of Community Journals Publishing Group.
Twenty years ago, Johnston and his wife Donna hatched the idea for a community newspaper around their kitchen table. At the time, they were unsure if their publishing model would work. The Johnstons knew they needed a top-quality product, the contributions of many talented people, and strong relationships with the local business community to support the product through advertising.
Their model has withstood the test of time. In the past two decades, the Johnstons’ vision has made an impact on the Upstate community by offering local news across a range of publications – publications that have been embraced by readers and advertisers alike. In addition to the Greenville Journal, the company publishes TOWN Magazine, Upstate Business Journal and At Home magazine and special publications like the ever-popular Behind the Counter.
Each of these publications was created in response to a community need. Understanding what the publications’ readers want and forging community partnerships has been a key to success.
“From the very start, we were all about being with, for and about the communities we serve,” Johnston said. “We feel very fortunate that from day one, the community has supported us.”
In fact, Johnston said he doesn’t know if the publishing model could have worked anywhere outside of Greenville. “We’re in a dynamic community in Greenville, SC,” Johnston said. “We have the very best readers, advertisers and contributors we could ever hope for in this market.”
Of course, the media landscape has changed since the first Greenville Journal was published in 1999. “We’ve had to adapt and grow,” Johnston said. That growth has included an increased focus on digital platforms for the publications.
The company’s eagerness to embrace growth and change, combined with its inherent entrepreneurial spirit, has led to an ever-expanding roster of products and services offered to clients. “If a company needs different products, digital products, events, or a custom print publication – we can respond to that because all decisions are made right here on Perry Avenue,” Johnston said, referring to the West Village office that has been the company’s home base for the past five years.
Everyone at Community Journals wants to say a big “thank you” to Greenville for a great twenty years of partnership and support.
581 Perry Ave., Greenville | 864.679.1200