Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Goodbye and Hello. An Update.

Good night, Times Express. So long, Courier.

Hello, Mt. Airy Examiner and Germantown Chronicle.

Jim Foster, speaking on behalf of a group dedicated to bringing print media back to the two communities in Northwest Philadelphia, confirmed that there will be two new papers in Philadelphia in the very near future. Foster said he has advertising staff, an editor and other pieces of the project in place. He emphasized the importance of a strong web component and promised it would be a vital part of the papers' presence.

Details on the new papers and the goals will be released soon.

Update 1 - 02.07.09: A group discussing a new Chestnut Hill paper held a meeting Friday. Details are being closely held but we were told by one participant that the Winters venture for a three-community newspaper is on hold. The CH consortium is moving cautiously, the source said.

Update 2 - 02.10.09: This week's Chestnut Hill Local (March 12, 2009) has the story on page 3 (author retained FNASR). An abbreviated and edited version follows this paragraph. Also, Ed Feldman makes reference in a letter to a CHCA board meeting video posted on this site. That link is posted below.
Mt. Airy business owner and community activist James Foster announced plans last weekend to publish two new newspapers, the Germantown Chronicle and the Mt. Airy Examiner, with a web edition to go online by the week of March 17 and "papers on the street by the first of April." They will operate under the corporate name of Germantown Newspapers Inc., with a web site at germantownnewspapers.com. Foster is a Chestnut Hill Community Association board member, a frequent contributor to the Local as well as the Courier and Times Express, and a classic car restoration specialist.

“As a lifetime community resident and a longtime contributor to the Mt. Airy Times Express and Germantown Courier, I was disheartened to find that attempts to sell the papers to other local interested parties did not materialize," Foster said. "Feedback from both communities (Mt. Airy and Germantown) was consistent and intense in that the loss of their traditional print newspapers represented a significant lifestyle change" for area residents.

"Local advertisers have made it clear that the loss of this medium would seriously impact their ability to communicate with the markets they most depended upon," Foster said in support of his decision. "With those people in mind, we intend to publish the Germantown Chronicle and the Mt. Airy Examiner and distribute it without charge to the same general areas previously served by the Courier and Times Express and beyond."

Foster said the company's offices would be "prominently located in the Germantown/Mt. Airy area" and has recruited experienced newspaper staff familiar with this area. Karl Biemuller, formerly of the Courier and Times Express, will be the editor of the two papers, Foster announced. Staff will include many editorial and sales personnel that formerly staffed the now-defunct Journal Register newspapers. “Continuity is a primary concern of the employees and staff of the Chronicle and Examiner."

“Contrary to some accepted predictions, local newspapers are not necessarily anachronisms, and these communities are living proof," Foster said. "With that in mind, I decided to structure (the publications) on sound financial footing with community needs in mind, essentially resurrecting similar publications with the intent to improve on what came before in the weeks and months ahead."

Foster declined to identify other investors in the project. He said additional information about the Chronicle and Examiner will be available online in the near future.

Scott Alloway

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2 Comments:

Blogger reverend chris said...

Scott, missed you tonight at the tav. I actually had your book to return for once.

Anyway, a new paper in CH? I am interested in being involved. Keep me posted.

Sat Mar 07, 11:21:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Q-t said...

Good to know that they have an ad staff and editor.

Wonder where those came people from....

Mon Mar 09, 01:16:00 AM EDT  

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