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The Post and Courier Columbia will debut in October

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PC Columbia mast

Four years ago, the parent company of The Post and Courier purchased Free Times to ensure independent, quality journalism would have a home in Columbia.

The Charleston-based paper has based reporters in Columbia for years to cover the Statehouse and statewide issues. With the addition of Free Times, The Post and Courier extended its focus on providing award-winning coverage to all the markets it serves.

Meanwhile, The Post and Courier has expanded its presence in Columbia over the past two years with two business reporters and two local investigative reporters. With the additional staffing, more Post and Courier news content has been included in the printed Free Times and online.

Starting on Oct. 1, that partnership will expand to provide even more local news.

The Post and Courier will launch postandcourier.com/Columbia to focus on local Columbia news while also maintaining a robust Free Times web presence.

Free Times will continue its focus on arts, entertainment and food coverage for both online and in print.

Combined the two organizations will have 11 full-time journalists based in Columbia covering local news for Columbia readers. The team will be supported by more than 75 Post and Courier journalists working across the state.

The weekly print edition out on Wednesdays will have two sections starting Oct. 7.

The front will feature Post and Courier Columbia news with local watchdog reporting, business coverage, opinion columns from Cindi Ross Scoppe and local writers.

The second section will be Free Times with its expertise in what to do and where to eat around Columbia and the local arts scene. Free Times will also include reader favorites like Rant & Rave and the puzzles.

The shift comes at a time when the The Post and Courier is expanding across the state. The South Carolina-owned news organizations has added full newsrooms in Greenville and Myrtle Beach this summer.

The Post and Courier Columbia and Free Times will continue free distribution at nearly 600 locations in the Columbia area.

Starting Dec. 2, readers can get a copy of this enhanced weekly paper delivered in the mail. You can subscribe online now at postandcourier.com/columbia/subscribe.

Let me take this moment to thank you for reading The Post and Courier and Free Times. Together, we will continue to provide in-depth, smart and expert coverage of the Columbia area.

Please send me story ideas and your feedback at ashain@postandcourier.com.

Follow Andy Shain on Facebook (andyshain12) and Twitter (@andyshain)

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