Last week, The Lexington County Chronicle invited the community out to check out its new digs.
The paper moved into its new home at 514 E Main St. in downtown Lexington in August, taking up residence in a former mill house just up the road from the town’s iconic Old Mill. Having settled into the new office, the Chronicle hosted an open house and ribbon cutting with the Lexington Chamber on Nov. 30.
“We're just happy to be part of the Lexington community and carry on the long tradition of great journalism here in Lexington,” co-owner Kyle Osteen told the crowd before the ribbon was cut.
The paper, originally owned by Jerry and MacLeod Bellune – who founded the Chronicle in 1992, and eventually merged it with The Dispatch News, which began serving Lexington County in 1870 — was purchased in September 2021 by Jack and Kyle Osteen – part of the family that has owned The Sumter Item, a five-day-per-week paper covering that city and county east of Columbia, since its founding in 1894.
Jack highlighted the recent expansion of the Chronicle’s staff, which includes managing editor Jordan Lawrence, sports editor Thomas Grant Jr., graphic designer Cary Howard and office manager Lauren Rimer, along with recent hires Kailee Kokes, a full-time news reporter, and Kelly Mason, who will manage marketing and sales.
Kokes joined the Chronicle in September. A former photo editor for The Daily Gamecock, the student newspaper at the University of South Carolina, she has used those strong photo skills to bring visual compliments to her reporting, with her main beats including Lexington County School District 1, Lexington-Richland School District 5, and the Town of Lexington.
Mason officially started at the Chronicle the day after the ribbon cutting ceremony. She has worked in business development, advertising and marketing for more than 20 years and is the owner of her own photo business, Mason Jar Photography, based in Lexington. She plans to help the paper reach new advertisers and better interface with the community.
“We’re so excited to have this group,” Jack said of the staff. “We’re excited to be in this great location.”
From its new home, the Chronicle will continue to grow its coverage of Lexington County, a vital, quickly growing area of the Palmetto State. From the Town of Lexington’s rapidly rejuvenating downtown to Lake Murray to the more metropolitan Cayce and West Columbia to the many small towns that dot the countryside, the paper strives to cover all the stories that matter to the people that live here and will keep looking to grow in that mission.
“We’re so delighted to see this day,” said Angelle LaBorde, president and CEO of the Lexington Chamber. “We’re delighted with the long legacy of the product here in Lexington and excited about the new owners ... and what you guys have brought to the community.”
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