Charlotte Observer

The Charlotte Observer is the main newspaper in the Charlotte region. It's the largest newspaper by circulation in the Carolinas. As of January 2020, the Observer was owned by McClatchy Co. (along with the the News & Observer of Raleigh, The State in Columbia, South Carolina, and several other papers in the Carolinas) and had announced it would drop its Saturday edition from print.

Charlotte Observer

McClatchy Co., which owns the Charlotte Observer and several other newspapers in the Carolinas, filed for bankruptcy Thursday morning.

Impeachment Story Illustrates News Industry Changes

Nov 23, 2019
Charlotte Observer front page
Jodie Valade / WFAE

For readers of some prominent regional newspapers, following the impeachment inquiry is a far different experience depending on whether you seek out newsprint or go digital.

On Thursday night, WFAE honored a legendary Charlotte journalist. Ed Williams, a longtime editorial page editor for the Charlotte Observer, received WFAE’s inaugural First Amendment Award. 

Williams spent 25 years at the Observer before retiring in 2008. He’s also served as chairman of WFAE’s Board of Directors. WFAE’s Lisa Worf spoke to him about his career, including his days as a student journalist at the University of Mississippi.

Charlotte Observer

Last week the Charlotte Observer’s parent company, McClatchy, announced it will stop printing Saturday editions at all of its papers next year. The California-based company, which also owns the Raleigh News & Observer and the Rock Hill Herald, is about $700 million in debt. 

Charlotte Observer front page, Feb. 1, 2019.

The parent company of the Charlotte Observer is cutting costs again. The McClatchy Company is offering buyouts to 450 employees including some at the Observer. CEO Craig Forman announced the move to employees in an email Friday.

The man accused of fatally shooting a Charlotte Observer carrier during what police say was a robbery attempt earlier this year has pleaded not guilty.  Twenty-three-year-old Roger Best is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of 65-year-old Walter “Wes” Scott Jr.   Scott was shot around 2:30 a.m. on February 15th while he was delivering newspapers near Romare Bearden Park in uptown.  His body was found in a crosswalk leading to the park.  

Local Judge Says He Didn't Leave The Republican Party - The Party Left Him

Jun 28, 2017
Dictrict Courth Judge Lou Trosch
Michael Gordon / Charlotte Observer

A longtime Mecklenburg County Republican judge has switched parties, saying the GOP’s ongoing legislative “assault” on a nonpartisan judiciary has given him the opportunity “to do what I think is right.”

District Judge Lou Trosch became a Democrat at noon on Monday. He says he was joined by his mother, Minette Trosch, a former longtime Republican member of the Charlotte City Council and a one-time mayor pro tem.

Trosch, a judge since 1999, said he has been contemplating the change for several years. He told the Observer that his decision was “a matter of conscience.”

Al Phillips self-portrait
Al Phillips / Charlotte Observer

Al Phillips, an artist who used his talent and imagination to capture major moments, big ideas and compelling people during 14 years as an illustrator for the Charlotte Observer, died Sunday at Asbury Methodist Village, a retirement community in Gaithersburg, Md.

He would have turned 84 on Thursday. The birthday party his family and friends had been planning will now be a memorial, said his daughter Kendra’s partner, Julie Chitty.

Correctional officers are expected to maintain order, but many play key roles in disorder at state prisons.

“We see problems with serious corruption and abuse in virtually all of the maximum security prisons across the state,” says Charlotte Observer reporter Ames Alexander.  

He was part of an investigative team behind a series called “Wrong Side of the Bars.” The 5-part investigation exposes a system that enables corrupt prison guards to have a strong and dangerous influence at state prisons. WFAE’s Marshall Terry spoke to Alexander and colleague Gavin Off about the series.

Run-down South End Housing At Center Of High-stakes Lawsuit From Billionaire's Firm

Jun 5, 2017
People who live in Brookhill Village, at South Tryon Street and Remount Road, are worried as they watch workers tear down parts of  the 67-year-old development all around them. Iya Jarouss, left, Cecillia Brunell, and Jeff Pegg sit on the front porch.
David T. Foster, III / Charlotte Observer

Just steps away from Brookhill Village, thousands of luxury apartments and a dozen new breweries have reshaped South End, transforming it from a fading industrial corridor to the center of Charlotte’s urban resurgence. Upscale townhouses and at least three new apartment complexes are planned across the street. Three blocks away, at Remount Road and South Boulevard, the new Solis Southline apartments are open, with studio apartments renting for more than $1,300.

Here's Why Neighborhood School Advocates May Like New CMS Boundary Plan

Apr 21, 2017
woman at school board meeting
Mark Hames / Charlotte Observer file photo

Those who have worried that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ long-awaited boundary proposal would disrupt their schools and neighborhoods will likely be relieved when Superintendent Ann Clark unveils it Tuesday, two board members say.

But others, who have spent two years pushing for a plan to break up racial and economic isolation in dozens of high-poverty urban schools, are likely to be disappointed.

How Long Can Price's Chicken Coop Hold Out In South End?

Apr 21, 2017
Price's Chicken Coop
Molly Mathis / Charlotte Observer

Drive down Camden Road in South End, and you’ll pass by shiny new office buildings, hip new restaurants and towering, luxury apartments. And in the middle of it all, you’ll also see a squat brick storefront that looks almost exactly like it did in the early 1960s.

Sherry Chisenhall
Marshall Terry / WFAE

It's an uncertain time for the newspaper business. Revenues and newsrooms are shrinking – as the digital revolution expands. The Charlotte Observer has certainly undergone a lot of change. It had a full-time newsroom staff of about 260 just over a decade ago. Now, it’s near 60.  Sherry Chisenhall took over this month as the new executive editor of the Observer. 

"Today, we have to be smarter than ever about what we spend our time doing," Chisenhall says.

She spoke with WFAE's Marshall Terry about the mission of the Observer, the changes it's undergone, and the future of the paper.

Severe Storms Threaten Charlotte Area

Mar 3, 2017

A tornado warning is in effect until 5:15 p.m. Wednesday for southwestern Catawba County and southeastern Burke County.

At 4:51 p.m., a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was 7 miles southeast of Morganton and moving east at 50 mph. Quarter-size hail also is possible.

A 65-year-old newspaper carrier for the Charlotte Observer was shot and killed early in his route Wednesday morning. A second, unidentified man was also found wounded.

Mark Washburn / Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Observer

In his two decades in law enforcement, Det. Josh Gibson has investigated everything from a stolen can of beer to a double homicide.

But nothing has been like the cases he’s handled in the last month – he’s been hunting for looters from the Charlotte riots in September, and he’s awash in evidence.

Celeste Smith / Charlotte Observer

Winning the lottery is just sheer luck, right? Maybe not.  A Charlotte Observer investigation has found many cases in North Carolina where people won so often that it seems something else is at work. For example, a woman in High Point won nine times in four months, collecting $21,000.  Observer reporters Gavin Off and Adam Bell dug into some of these lucky streaks and their costs in a series called "Against All Odds."  The two spoke with WFAE's Marshall Terry about what they found.  

Charlotte Mecklenburg police

Charlotte Observer

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have identified the man who was video taped being beaten, kicked and stripped of pants by 10 attackers in the EpiCentre garage during the height of uptown protests Wednesday.

The man’s name has not been released, but police say he is cooperating in helping to identify the attackers. It remains unclear if the man is a Charlottean or was visiting the city when the beating occurred.

Charlotte Observer

He joined the Charlotte Police Department in an age when black officers were not permitted to drive police cruisers. He pioneered community policing decades before it was officially invented and ran one of the best burger joints in town.

Stephen Curry Named First Unanimous NBA MVP

May 10, 2016
Jeff Siner / Charlotte Observer

Charlotte’s Stephen Curry did not just become a two-time NBA MVP on Tuesday. He also became the first unanimous MVP in the league’s history.

The Golden State guard received all 131 votes from media members across the country, the league announced Tuesday afternoon. San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard finished second and Cleveland’s LeBron James was third.