January 10, 2009

JRC's regional weeklies, many based in Bristol, still eyed for closure

The Journal Inquirer has this story about the possible closure next week of as many as eight weeklies serving Farmington Valley and Central Connecticut towns. If they are shuttered -- and the Pennsylania-based Journal Register Co. that owns them hasn't hesitated to close other weeklies lately --about a dozen employees in Bristol would lose their jobs.
I hope there's a buyer out there for these papers, many of them crucial cogs in providing information to their communities. With a new owner, they could become far, far more important than they already are.
Three of the Imprint Newspaper weeklies -- the Wethersfield Post, Newington Town Crier, and Rocky Hill Post -- are included in the pending sale of The Bristol Press and The Herald of New Britain to newsman Mike Schroeder and his unidentified friend.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Kyrie said...

As an alumna of the Bristol Press and working journalist, I am so relieved at the purchase of the papers. Three cheers to the new owner.

Curious said...

Any Bristol news to report?

Steve Collins said...

These papers are in Bristol.

Walter W said...

Word is that the unidentified friend is a local aspiribg politician.

Steve Collins said...

That is highly unlikely. Schroeder said he'd never been to Bristol or New Britain until the end of December.
And an aspiring politician could certainly find better ways to make his name that to be a silent partner in a small newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Only 12 employees to publish 8 newspapers....the JRC way...
Hard to say how many jobs will be lost.
editor of 3 saved weeklies is leaving
W. Hartford news saved - staff?
FVT -- covers most of Valley -- saved. only editor on payroll, I believe.
However, they will run out of Middletown. imagine drive from Middletown to West Hartford of to Simsbury.

being on board Middletown ship looked good a few weeks ago, now it is a ticket, steerage, on the Titanic. sad.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you are a nice guy, but sometimes quite naive.

Paul Angilly said...

As a Windsor Locks resident, and a former editor of the Windsor Locks Journal - which will likely publish its last issue on Friday - I'm very sad to see a paper that's been published every week since 1880 meet its end with barely even a whimper.

In my time with that paper, we had as many as 1,700 weekly subscribers (this in a town of less than 12,000 people). Over the past 12 years, that number has dropped to about 100 or maybe even less.

As a sports reporter here at the Bristol Press, I'm obviously pleased that I will have the chance to continue to serve the local community. But I'm still very sad that a paper that was once a vital part of my own community will soon cease to exist.

The Windsor Locks Journal not only chronicled the town's history for the past 129 years, but many of the key events in my own life. My name and/or photo was in the Journal when I was born, when I worked on a special math project in middle school, when I played tennis in high school, when I graduated from high school and college, when I won a state award for my sports writing here at the Press, and I was even one of the "Cabbages and Kings" from all over town that was featured in Jack Redmond's long-running column. As an editor there, I also shared many of my own thoughts and feelings through a very personal column I wrote each week.

Unfortunately, the sorry excuse for a rag that JRC turned the Windsor Locks Journal, among its other weeklies, into will likely not be missed by many. But I'll certainly miss, and have missed, the once great paper it was.

Steve Collins said...

Thanks, Paul. You sure showed why these weeklies matter.
And it's absolutely true that an owner who thought the papers should have reporters and a real commitment to their towns would find them capable of attracting advertising and subscribers.