The Commercial Dispatch is the daily newspaper of Columbus, Mississippi, United States. It was created from the merger of two older papers, the Commercial and the Dispatch, in the early 20th century. The first issue of the consolidated newspaper was published on March 12, 1922. The Dispatch is published six days a week (no edition is produced on Monday) at the company's headquarters on a Goss Urbanite press. The paper is a longtime family-owned business and community mainstay. The current editor and publisher is Birney Imes III.
Vinton Birney Imes Sr. first went to work for Percy W. Maer at The Columbus Dispatch in 1910. Following Maer's death, Imes left The Columbus Dispatch and bought The Columbus Commercial. The following year Imes, local attorney John Frierson and local dentist Dr. D.D. Griffin formed a partnership and purchased The Columbus Commercial from Maer's widow. Imes merged the two papers in 1922. A subscription was $3 per year for home delivery and $2 for delivery by mail. The paper was a bi-weekly publication.
In 1925 Imes moved the newspaper to its present location at 516 Main Street. The Commercial Dispatch became a daily paper in 1926.
Upon Imes's death on June 18, 1947 at the age of 58, his son, Vinton Birney Imes Jr. took over as editor and publisher. Birney Imes Jr. carried on as editor and publisher for nearly 50 years. Birney Imes III assumed the leadership of the Dispatch in 1996 after the retirement of his father.
On June 8, 2009 The Commercial Dispatch began publishing The Starkville Dispatch, a daily edition of The Commercial Dispatch that focuses on Starkville, Mississippi. Both papers share the bulk of their content, including all advertising, but the local news pages in The Starkville Dispatch tend to focus on Starkville-specific content.
Starkville Daily News is the only other daily paper in Starkville, Mississippi.
Daily circulation is approximately 14,000. In addition to the daily newspaper, the Dispatch maintains an online presence and publishes the quarterly magazine Catfish Alley.
The paper has no local competition in the daily market, but does compete with a local weekly, the Columbus Packet. Subscriptions are currently about $12 per month. Rack papers sell for $0.50 Monday through Friday and $1.25 on Sunday.
- Editor/Publisher: Birney Imes III
- Operations Manager: Peter Imes
- Managing Editor: William Browning
- News Editor: Sam Luvisi
- Circulation Manager: Michael Floyd
- Advertising Manager: Beth Proffitt
- Production Manager: Perry Griggs
- Human Resources/Accounting: Terri Collums
- Mailroom Supervisor: Vernon Hedgeman