Our State Magazine Makes Its Debut

The cover of a 1941 issue of The State magazine, now held by the N.C. Museum of HistoryOn June 3, 1933, the first issue of The State magazine hit newsstands across North Carolina. The brain child of Carl Goerch, an eastern North Carolina newspaper publisher and radio broadcaster, the magazine was an instant success despite the tough economic times. The first issue was almost entirely written and edited by Goerch, and roughly 2,500 copies of it were printed. Each copy cost 10 cents.

Goerch envisioned the publication as a weekly statewide survey that would increase people’s love for North Carolina. He tirelessly traveled from the mountains to the coast and back again to develop that product, collecting stories and subscribers until he sold the magazine in 1951.

Bill Sharpe, the magazine’s second owner, switched the publication schedule from weekly to monthly. W. B. Wright, who owned the paper from 1965 to 1987, focused on business and historical stories and began to feature the work of prominent North Carolina writers.

After a brief stint of ownership by Shaw Publishing, Bernard Mann bought the publication in 1996 and changed its name to Our State. The magazine remains a staple in North Carolina homes today, and has a monthly circulation of more than 150,000.

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