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Member Spotlight — The News Journal — March 14, 2013

Member Spotlight: The News Journal

Location/Website: New Castle, Del; www.delawareonline.com

Twitter/Facebook: @delawareonline; Facebook.com/DelawareOnline

Publication Schedule: Daily.

Focus & History: The News Journal focuses on Wilmington and New Castle County, the Delaware General Assembly and maintains a Washington, D.C. bureau for the state’s congressional delegation. The paper also offers extensive coverage of the Delaware beaches, coverage of northeast Maryland and southeast Pennsylvania.

The paper’s website, DelawareOnline.com, generates more than one million unique visitors each month. In order to reach younger readers, the company publishes Spark, a weekly entertainment publication focusing on concerts, movies, dining and night life. The publication, which counts readership three times its’ distribution, is free and can be found at almost 1,000 businesses in and around Wilmington.

Other notable niche publications include Delaware Pets, Delaware Woman and MomsLikeMe.com.

History: Most people are aware how powerful the DuPont family name is within the state of Delaware. The family’s empire included ownership of two state newspapers. In 1919, the business operations of The Morning News and The Evening Journal were consolidated after a long-standing feud within the family was resolved. The two papers continued to publish independently, but the modern day News Journal Company had been born.

Delaware’s flagship dailies changed hands when DuPont sold the paper in 1978 to Gannett. Competing offers from the Hearst Corp. and The Washington Post Co. pushed the purchase price to $60 million.

In 1989, Gannett merged the two papers into what is now called The News Journal. In 2010, the company re-branded the publication as The News Journal Media Group in an effort to collectively identify their extensive product portfolio of print, digital, video and new media.

Popular Mythology: “Most people associate us with Wilmington, but we only staff a small satellite office there,” says executive editor David Ledford. “Our operations have been in New Castle for some time now. We probably should be called the Delaware News Journal, but that’s something which would take a lot more time and effort.”

Alumni: The paper’s notable names include Cris Barrish, a reporter best-known for his coverage of the murder of Anne Marie Fahey and the ensuing murder trial of Thomas Capano. Barrish later co-authored the book “Fatal Embrace” about the case. He won the 2011 Al Nakkula Award for police reporting

Norman Lockman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for the Boston Globe, served as the News Journal’s managing editor from 1984 to 1991 and was later a regular columnist for the paper. Lockman died from complications related to Lou Gehrig's disease in April 2005.
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