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Exploring Columbia, SC: What is COLAtoday?

Every April we celebrate the anniversary of COLAtoday — Columbia, SC’s resource for all things Cola. Allow us to introduce our daily, five-minute newsletter, full of information for local citizens.


Take a step back in time to 2017. | Photo by COLAtoday team

COLAtoday was born on April 3, 2017well, the newsletter anyway. For those of you who’ve been following along since 2017, thank you. For all others, allow us to (re)introduce ourselves.

To share who we are, we need to share how we got here. So, buckle up, we’re stepping back in time and starting at the beginning.

COLAtoday is part of a parent company called 6AM City — built to engage local communities by creating new ways to consume, participate, and share local content.

Through our conversational tone, editorial filter, and participatory approach, we aim to build communities driven by conversation, designed for maximum engagement through curating a five-minute newsletter that reaches your inbox every Mon.-Fri. at (can you guess?) 6 a.m.

We share everything you need to know about our city by covering content like civic, development, food + drink, lifestyle, history, travel and outdoors, and more news.

Notice crime, punishment + political content didn’t make the list. Our company made a strategic decision to only offer readers content that drives curiosity, conversation, and positive engagement.

Currently, 6AM City is in over 20 markets across the US with two City Editors (like Sam + David) in each market writing the newsletter + running the market’s social media accounts. In 2016 though, there was only one market: GVLtoday.

6AM City + GVLtoday were the brainchildren of two Ryans — Ryan Johnston (Co-founder, CEO) + Ryan Heafy (Co-founder, COO). Skip ahead sixish years, and 6AM City is now one of the fastest-growing media companies in the nation with over 1,000,000 subscribers.

After GVLtoday, COLAtoday was right behind launching in April of 2017. We started publishing website content in March before we launched the newsletter in April — and for a little throwback content How much it costs to live on Main Street was the first story our original editor Chloe wrote. (Check out those rent prices on Main Street just ~six years ago.) Our first newsletter was a simple, “Welcome to COLAtoday.”

So what’s your role as a reader? Well, we invite you to join the conversation. We love it when we hear from you — what you like learning about, new scoops on coming projects, when you loved a specific conversation, when you have an event planned, and other feedback. You can always reach out to us via our inbox at