African-American Newspaper a Family Affair
(Florida Courier) — In late 2004, the Cherry family was in a state of crisis. Charles W. Cherry, Sr., the family patriarch, had died. Not only was he a civil rights activist, father and grandfather, he was also the key man who operated the two newspapers, the Daytona Times and the Florida Courier, that were affiliated with the family’s media company. And there was no clear plan as to how to continue the operation. “Glenn was knee-deep in operating nine radio stations at the time,” current Florida Courier Publisher Charles W. Cherry II explained, “and I had a foot in both operations. After Daddy died, we knew that we had to keep both newspapers going.
“At the time of his death, the Daytona Times had been published for 1,369 consecutive weeks. The Florida Courier had been going for 637 consecutive weeks. To miss a weekly issue, even when the key person running the business has died, and even if you had never missed an issue before, would be the kiss of death for a Black weekly newspaper. There are no weeks off in this business.” Cherry II recalls the family meetings that occurred after Cherry, Sr.’s death and burial. He says the same thing happens in every family-owned business after the death of a key individual. “Everybody looks around and says, ‘What do we do now?’ There are options. You can let the business die with the person. You can operate it at a marginal level and take whatever profits you make. You can sell it. You can get a partner to run it, and hope for the best. You can walk away.