A Brief History of a Small Newspaper
October 20, 2011In looking at old issues to write something about the past 20 years I found I had written a perfectly good history of The Rhino that ran Jan. 1, 1993, slightly 14 months after the paper was founded on Oct. 18, 1991.
Like contemporaneous notes, it's far more accurate than anything I could come up with today, so we thought we'd run it almost as it ran, but our copy editing has gotten much better in the past 19 years, so we did correct the misspelled words and added some punctuation.
For those that joined us recently and for those that have been with us for a while but haven't figured it out yet, we will try to answer the question, "What is The Rhinoceros Times?"
This is a question that I am asked frequently, and during the holidays it seems that I am asked this very question about every 30 seconds.
What is The Rhino Times?
The Rhino Times is a weekly newspaper in transition. We started out in September of 1991 as a two-page newsletter for the Rhinoceros Club on Greene Street in downtown Greensboro. Since January of 1992 The Rhino Times has been an independent publication, not associated with the infamous Rhino Club, except in spirit.
The history of The Rhino Times really goes back a few years more. From 1982 to 1986 The Rhinoceros Times was a monthly newsletter mailed to all the members of the Rhinoceros Club. At that time John Rudy, the toast of Greensboro's cafe society and the owner of the Rhinoceros Club wanted a vehicle to advertise band night. With some experience in journalism and in desperate need of cash, Mr. Rudy offered me a page to do with as I saw fit. We had great fun with that publication and it was popular, acquiring subscribers in all 50 states and several foreign countries.
When the Rhino quit having bands, the original Rhino Times died a natural death. All of which is only to say that we had some idea what we were doing when The Rhino Times was reborn last fall.
The goal this time was quite different and the results have been also.
Instead of a club newsletter, the plan was to offer a way for independent businesses, particularly restaurants and bars, to advertise to an extremely targeted audience – to those that actually go out to bars and restaurants.
The Rhino Times doesn't venture out of Greensboro. We don't care much about Winston-Salem, High Point, Burlington or any of the other municipalities in the 11 county triad area. (We don't even believe in the triad.) We focus our attention on Greensboro, and really on a small part of Greensboro.
We are mainly interested in folks that go out in Greensboro, either out to eat or just out to have fun. We write more about this group than any other group including the City Council (but more on that later).
We give our advertisers a chance to reach people that are interested in what's going on at night and interested in what's going on in Greensboro.
We will continue to expand our coverage of events in Greensboro, and will continue to reach a bigger share of the market. In one year we have grown from two pages to 16 pages. In the next year we plan to grow to 32.
To do this we plan to expand our news coverage, add some more features, like the new cartoon we added today, and expand our circulation.
Our coverage of the Greensboro City Council is already the most complete to be found anywhere. We give the news coverage of the City Council all the room it deserves.
Our coverage of news will continue to be irreverent at best and scandalous at worst. But if you can't laugh at politicians you have to cry at all the money they spend, and we plan to keep laughing.
Circulation, I forgot all about circulation. In the beginning, The Rhino Times was only available at the Rhinoceros Club.
Currently it is available at over 50 locations around town. Each week we add a couple of spots. We are now printing and distributing 3,000 copies of The Rhino Times each week.
If you like The Rhino Times, please, frequent our advertisers and tell them you read The Rhino Times. The paper is totally supported by ad sales, and every little bit helps.
That's where we stand as 1992 is coming to an end.