Read our history
The Greer Citizen was founded on May 10, 1918 and from the beginning it was truly a family-oriented business. Publisher P.W. Smith purchased the business in 1920, and his sons, Bill and Charles P., worked in the print shop. P.W. Smith served as a reportor, editor and manager of the business, while his wife wrote on social matters. In 1936, the Smiths sold the paper to Tup Lucas, who published the paper until June 1, 1942, later selling it to Edd A. Burch.
A native of Eastman, Ga., Burch began his career as associate editor of The Bartow Herald in Cartersville, Ga. (1931 - 1936) and editor of The Dalton Citizen in Dalton, Ga. (1937 - 1942). Burch purchased The Greer Citizen when it maintained a circulation of only 1,400, but by 1976, under Burch’s management, the circulation grew to 8,500, and by the 1990s, the paper’s circulation reached more than 10,000. Burch continued to serve as editor and publisher for 43 years until he died on Aug. 7, 1985. Remaining steadfast in the family-oriented values the paper was founded upon, Burch’s sons, Leland and Walter, succeeded their father’s work.
Leland joined the newspaper staff as news editor after graduating from Wofford College in 1961, and Walter became advertising manager after graduating from Presbyterian College and serving two years of active duty in the U.S. Army, later becoming the paper’s general manager.
On Sept. 30, 2006, Buchheit News Management, a Spartanburg family-based company, officially acquired The Greer Citizen maintaining family ownership of the property.
Don Wilder was named publisher, having worked with the Buchheit family since the 1970s at The Union (SC) Daily Times, The Williamson (WV) Daily News and Hometown News in Spartanburg. In January 2013, Wilder retired and Steve Blackwell was named publisher. Blackwell, a graduate of Gardner-Webb, started working with the Buchheit family in 1984 at The Union Daily Times and later served as publisher for Hometown News.
From it’s current location on Trade Street, The Greer Citizen continues to serve the Greer community, in addition to Taylors, Lyman, Wellford and Duncan communities, as a family-run business. The weekly paper maintains a long, loyal history in the upstate, reporting on locally focused news, sports events, local Living Here features spotlighting individuals and organizations in the community and religion features.
Buchheit News Management traces its roots back to Jan. 1, 1948, when newspaper publisher Phil Buchheit of Spartanburg, S.C., first leased and operated the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Phil Buchheit’s newspaper acquisition history began with the purchase of the Goldsboro News-Argus, a daily in Goldsboro, N.C., in 1953, a publication that is still owned by Buchheit News Management.
Mr. Buchheit’s family business goal was to acquire and operate newspapers, though it occasionally delved into other fields, including a radio station, a photographic studio, an advertising agency, and even a furniture store.
Phil Buchheit ran the company for nearly three decades from his office as publisher of the Herald-Journal. He was a man with shrewd business instincts, boundless energy and disarming charm. He was encouraged and aided in getting into newspaper ownership by his lifelong friend and newspaper publisher, Carmage Walls. Mr. Buchheit died in 1977, and shortly thereafter Mid-South ceased operating the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Headquarters were then moved and eventually relocated to offices on South Pine Street in Spartanburg.
Mr. Buchheit encouraged family participation in his businesses and focused on giving back to the community. A small portion of his giving is evidenced by the structures named in honor of the family at Spartanburg Methodist College. At his passing, his son and daughter, Bill Buchheit and Phyllis DeLapp assumed ownership and leadership of the company. The two continued to grow the company with purchases of additional newspapers. Together they would have publications in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Virgina, West Virginia and Ohio.
In 1991, Bill Buchheit passed away and the company was divided between the two siblings family members. At this time, Bill’s wife Mellnee created Buchheit News Management. Throughout the years, she has overseen the operation of newspaper publications and commercial properties. She is proud to call The Greer Citizen one of her current publications. Other publications include Goldsboro News-Argus, Mount Olive Messenger, Wright Times and GO! Magazine. Two of her sons are still involved in the business, thus maintaining three generations of newspaper ownership.