Executives from The Star-Ledger, NJ.com and other affiliated newspapers in New Jersey, announced plans today to launch a new media company later this spring that will “expand
and improve the news and information products available to New Jerseyans.”
In an email and release distributed to employees today, executives said NJ Advance Media will begin operating in June. Initially, NJ Advance Media will provide The Star-Ledger and NJ.com with marketing and advertising services. In September, the new company will begin producing content.
NJ Advance Media’s content will appear on NJ.com and in The Star-Ledger, which, like the other affiliated properties mentioned in the release, “will continue to operate as independent companies with their own newsrooms.” Those titles include The Times of Trenton, The South Jersey Times, The Hunterdon Democrat and The Express-Times of Easton, Pa.
Today’s announcement will not alter the printing or delivery schedules of the titles mentioned, according to the release. Newspapers currently available seven days a week on newsstands and to home delivery customers will remain so.
Matt Kraner, the current president of NJ.com, will be president of NJ Advance Media, the release said.
Richard Vezza, publisher of The Star-Ledger, will remain in that position. While many employees of NJ.com, The Star- Ledger, and other affiliated companies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania will be offered jobs in the new company, according to the release, Vezza was quoted as saying there also would be job losses. No specific numbers were stated.
According to the release, “the companies plan to have a larger team of full-time reporters, columnists and photojournalists at launch than exist now at NJ.com and The Star-Ledger. They anticipate creating more real-time statewide and local content than the newspaper and website produce at present.”
The Star-Ledger had its first large-scale layoffs in January 2013 and won concessions from its labor unions later in the year. The concessions came after executives threatened to close the paper.
In addition to the sales, marketing and content functions at NJ Advance Media, another new company — Penn Jersey Advance Central Services — is being created, the release said. That company will be led by Richard Diamond Jr., the current president of Penn Jersey Advance. The new company, according to the release, will “provide circulation, information systems and technology, strategic sourcing and financial and accounting services.”
NJ.com received more than 14 million unique visitors per month in January and February, and according to Scarborough Research, is New Jersey’s most popular news and information website.