The Top 10 North Carolina Daily Newspapers by Circulation

Although there are still some very old newspapers still in circulation in North Carolina, the first-ever newspaper in the state was the North Carolina Gazette, which originally published from 1751 to 1759.

Updated February 2020


  • 1. The Charlotte Observer
    Published by McClatchy and founded in 1886, the Observer primarily serves Charlotte and Mecklenburg counties, along with the surrounding counties of Iredell, Cabarrus, Union, Lancaster, York, Gaston, Catawba, and Lincoln.
  • 2. The News & Observer
    Based in Raleigh, the News & Observer serves the “Research Triangle” area of North Carolina (encompassing the area surrounding the three major research universities of North Carolina State University, Duke University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
  • 3. Winston-Salem Journal
    Founded in 1897, the Journal serves Winston-Salem and Forsyth counties, and other parts of Northwestern North Carolina including Alleghany, Ashe, Davidson, Davie, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes, Watauga, and Yadkin counties.
  • 4. News & Record
    Founded in 1890 and primarily serving Guilford County, the News & Record is based in Greensboro.
  • 5. The Fayetteville Observer
    The oldest still-publishing newspaper in North Carolina, having been founded in 1816 as the Carolina Observer.
  • 6. Star-News
    Founded in 1867, the Star-News serves Wilmington and the surrounding area known as Lower Cape Fear.
  • 7. Asheville Citizen-Times
    Published by Gannett, the Citizen-Times was born in 1991 after a merger between the Asheville Citizen and the Asheville Times.
  • 8. High Point Enterprise
    Primarily serves High Point along with Guilford, Davidson, Randolph and Forsyth counties in North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad area. Founded 1885.
  • 9. The Gaston Gazette
    Published in Gastonia, the Gazette primarily serves Gaston and Lincoln counties in North Carolina, and York County in South Carolina.
  • 10. The Herald-Sun
    Founded in 1853 as the Durham Morning Herald, the Herald-Sun is based in Durham.

Newspaper circulations and rankings are determined by Fullintel’s media intelligence analysts in combination with data supplied by LexisNexis.

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