Happy (belated) birthday to us!
The first CharlotteFive newsletter was sent at 7:45 a.m. Nov. 18, 2014, and featured stories about coffee wars, Bojangles’ fried turkey and Patrick Cannon going to prison. We get a lot of questions about C5 from readers, so we decided to let you have a peek behind the curtain.
Did you know CharlotteFive was created during a Charlotte Observer leadership retreat? Our daily newsletter — complete with five original stories about Charlotte news and lifestyle — is the result of a brainstorm by editors, salespeople and strategists, and was launched as a separate brand from the Observer. We’re digital-only, personality-driven and geared toward the the 18-35 somethings who want to deeply connect with our city.
Here are 25 other facts you might not know about us:
(1) Corey Inscoe was the first full-time editor, starting in May 2015. He grew up in Cary, N.C., studied journalism at UNC Chapel Hill and covered high school sports at the Observer for nearly six years before coming to C5. He joined a bowling league when he was 6 and was the drum major of his HS marching band, so he’s clearly a super cool guy. In one of his first assignments for C5 the lead singer of Third Eye Blind made fun of him for asking a stupid question. Oh, and he believes that dogs and babies should be welcome at any brewery.
(2) Katie Toussaint (this is me) was the second full-time editor, and also started working on C5 in May 2015. I’m a Charlotte native, a twin, and I have English and journalism degrees from the University of Richmond. Beyond editing, writing, haphazardly blogging, eating dark chocolate and sipping red wine, practicing yoga is one of my greatest joys. I also teach at Y2 Yoga in Cotswold. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram for my random thoughts.
(3) For us, there’s no such thing as a “typical day.” We’re online on and off from 5:30 a.m. to nearly midnight most work days, depending on workflow, interviews, office gatherings, events in the city and however we’re living our lives in between it all.
(4) C5 HQ is located on the 10th floor of the NASCAR Plaza building uptown, where the Charlotte Observer is housed as well.
(5) We have a new Audience and Growth Manager, Sallie Funderburk. Born and raised in Myrtle Beach, Sallie identifies as a professional ping ponger (not really, but she was in a league in Charleston). She also has her own monogrammed paddle. She was named after both of her grandmothers, has been to Wimbledon and has seen Bruno Mars in concert, during which she and her friends got picked to sit in the front row. For the win.
(6) We also have a new Sales Representative & Marketing Coordinator, Tyler Blackshaw. He was born and raised in Charlotte and loves all the Queen City has to offer, especially in NoDa (his current neighborhood). His hobbies include watching sports, collecting local breweries’ glassware and traveling. Tyler has explored 15 different countries and even won a beer-drinking contest in Prague with his brother. (A note from Tyler: “Please advertise with us so I can continue my victory tour!”) Also, he has had his Instagram account for 2.5 years and just recently reached double digit posts. Let’s give Tyler a hand.
(7) The lovely Katie Coleman, Lead Content Editor at the Observer, handles our sponsored content, with the help of some awesome writers and partners. When Katie writes, she writes about craft booze and travel (read: will travel for craft booze). Katie said: “My great-grandfather invented bubblegum, so my family has a pretty high standard for being cool. Follow me so I don’t have to wear the ‘Just Mediocre’ hat at Thanksgiving this year.”
(8) Sarah Crosland is the Director of the Observer Content Studio and our supervisor. So she made us let her write her own bio. In Sarah’s words: “Hey #CharLIT, since this is a millennial-focused site, I’ll keep this bio #onfleek. My job is leading our squad and keeping things savage AF. (Hashtag goals.) About me? Honestly, I’m pretty #basic. I love brunch and I literally can’t with Starbucks PSLs. Anyway, I recommend reading CharlotteFive to avoid #FOMO — and consider us your #fam.”
(9) The C5 team’s favorite work-lunch spot is Earl’s Grocery.
(10) Our favorite random activity is blowing bubbles in Romare Bearden Park. Which we’ve only done once. But it was definitely a good time.
(12) We have a new hashtag for social media: #CLT5.
(13) We have our very own podcast, aptly named the CharlotteFive Podcast. Corey and Sarah host different guests in the C5 Podcast Closet each week to make it happen, with the help of producer Richard Brooke. Listen here.
(14) Our greatest (and sole) culinary achievement is the conceptualization of two hot dogs: The C5 Herbivore and the C5 Carnivore at JJ’s Red Hots.
(15) Our first newsletter went to 11 subscribers. Today we have more than 17,600 subscribers.
(16) Our first 5 stories were: 1. I say coffee, you say espresso, 2. Now we’ll see how he looks in an orange suit, 3. One man’s trash is… Charlotte’s financial windfall!, 4. Bojangles’ for Thanksgiving? Checkout their seasoned fried turkey and 5. Charlotte Craigslist killer? Raleigh founder opens virtual doors of online consignment startup in Charlotte.
(17) Our team meets every week at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to talk about events, partner content, story ideas and vital plans like how to decorate our office space with Ikea furniture. Also, we are fairly high-functioning when it comes to white boards.
(18) Sometimes we escape to Amelie’s French Bakery. Caffeine is important.
(19) We’re growing like crazy, thanks to you. In our first full month (Dec. 2014) we had 78,157 page views. Now we get nearly 200,000 page views a week.
(20) Our team generally communicates using the Slack app, thanks to Corey and Tyler’s persistent nagging.
(21) On average, the CharlotteFive editors get about 200 emails a day combined. So now you know why it sometimes takes us a little while to respond.
(22) We loathe the M-word.
(23) You can subscribe to our daily newsletter and dig deeper into our past articles at CharlotteFive.com.
(24) Our most-viewed story, written by Corey (Ha, rhyme), was: Why is there a historic sign reading ‘Tear in the Space-Time Continuum’ in uptown Charlotte? The fact that this sign was ever in existence is one of endless reasons to adore Charlotte.
(25) With this post, we have officially published 2,756 articles.
We like to stay busy.
Photos: Sarah Crosland, CharlotteFive staff