Now here’s a Facebook page that, sadly, should have an almost never-ending supply of material going forward: The State Jumps the Shark.
The State refers to the Columbia-based State newspaper, which for many decades was the largest paper in South Carolina. That honor now belongs to the Charleston Post and Courier.
Within the past couple years, The State’s daily circulation dipped below 100,000 for the first time since the 1960s, and today it’s at less than 84,000, according to the most recent data from the Audit Bureau of Circulation.
“Jumping the shark” is an idiom used to describe the moment of downturn for a previously successful enterprise.
According to the Facebook page, The State jumped the shark when publisher Henry Haitz (shown above in superhero garb) was photographed earlier this month donating $5,000 to the Ray Tanner Foundation, with the picture of the check passing appearing in the paper.
“The photo is a new low in journalism for the once-proud paper that previously would never stooped to running a check passing, much less one of their own making,” the Oct. 22 commentary reads. “Congratulations Henry.”
If that bit of grip-and-grin tomfoolery weren’t enough, 10 days later layoffs were announced, further depleting a staff that’s already been cut several times.
One good thing about having a photographer take a photo of the check passing: It confirms at least one other person besides Haitz still works at the paper.