Meet our 2023
Hall of Fame Recipient
Scott B. Hunter
40-Year Career at the Aiken Standard (1973-2013)
Scott Beale Hunter began his journalism career in 1973 as a sports writer for the Aiken Standard and rose through the ranks to become one of the longest serving daily newspaper publishers in South Carolina.
A native of Rockville, Maryland, Hunter graduated from the University of South Carolina and earned his Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina’s School of Journalism.
From sports writer, he was promoted to sports editor for the Standard, working hard to ensure that all the local high schools received coverage. Publisher Sam Cothran took note of Hunter’s ambition and work ethic, naming him news editor.
Hunter quickly rose to the positions of managing editor, editor and then general manager. During his time in those leadership positions, the Aiken Standard went from a five-day-a-week to a six-day publication.
During his tenure, he helped lead the Aiken Standard from the days of typewriters and paste-up to computers and pagination. He was heavily involved in the newspaper’s installation of computer systems and helped teach staff how to use the new technology.
Following Cothran’s retirement in 1989, Hunter was elevated to publisher of the newspaper, a title he held until his retirement in December 2013.
Early in his role as publisher, the newspaper became a seven-day-a-week enterprise.
Hunter was also president of Aiken Communications Inc., which owned the local newspaper. As publisher he was instrumental in the company’s acquisition of North Augusta’s weekly newspaper, The Star, from its longtime owners Sam and Mim Woodring.
Hunter served as President of the South Carolina Press Association in 1995. He also served as President of the S.C. Press Association Foundation and was a Foundation Board Member from 2012-2018.
He was known throughout the state as a mentor who offered insight, wisdom and encouragement to generations of news industry employees.
“Scott was a wonderful publisher and community leader,” said Ellen Priest who worked with Hunter for more than 20 years and succeeded him as publisher of the Aiken Standard. “He never forgot our obligation to the community to hold our elected officials accountable, and he always provided fair and balanced coverage.”
Hunter was also involved in a variety of civic organizations. He was an active member and elder at Aiken’s First Presbyterian Church. He served on and chaired the boards of the United Way of Aiken County, the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons, First Steps and the Etherredge Center Orchestra. He also chaired the Child Advocacy Center board and served as co-chair of Stand Up for the Children, the capital campaign for Children’s Place. Hunter served as president of the Rotary Club of Aiken and the Aiken Kiwanis Club. He chaired the City of Aiken’s Arts and Culture Committee during the 1993 strategic planning process, and was a member of Aiken’s All-America City Committee in 1997.
In 1997 Hunter was named Volunteer of the Year by the United Way of Aiken County. In 1998 he was awarded the Distinguished Citizen Award from USC Aiken, and in 2011 he was named the Man of the Year by the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce. He was also presented with the South Carolina Order of the Silver Crescent during his retirement ceremony.
Hunter was married to Lois McFadden-Hunter until her passing in 2009, and together they raised their daughter Eleanor Hunter.
“Scott was, above all, the quintessential gentleman,” said Pierre Manigault, chairman of the Board of Evening Post Industries. “He was also one of the best all-around newspaper publishers I’ve known. Behind the impeccable manners and gentle ways was a journalist and businessman with great instincts and the amazing ability to seemingly always make the right decision.”
Hunter never failed to give back to his community or to those in need. The S.C. Press Association recognizes Hunter for his lasting legacy, leadership and service to the Aiken community, the Palmetto State and the newspaper industry.
S.C. Journalism Hall of Fame
The S.C. Journalism Hall of Fame was established in 1973 to recognize and honor men and women who have excelled in their craft and made significant contributions to journalism and their communities. Only 74 newspaper journalists – from Colonial days to the present – have been chosen by their peers for recognition. Learn more.