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Tribune Chronicle Launching Mahoning County Edition

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The publisher of the Warren Tribune Chronicle said Tuesday morning he and his staff are still putting together the plan for a new Mahoning County edition of the newspaper.

The newspaper, owned by Ogden Newspapers Inc. of Wheeling, W.Va., announced in a front-page story its plans to introduce a Mahoning County edition Sept. 1, the day after The Vindicator ceases publication. 

The Tribune Chronicle’s editor, Brenda Linert, is “working on a plan and we’ll try to execute that plan as soon as we can,” said Charles Jarvis, Tribune Chronicle publisher and Ogden’s regional publisher, in a phone interview.

“We feel very strongly that no community – especially one as large as Youngstown – should go without a daily newspaper, so we are pleased to be able to fill the void and look forward to providing good coverage of Mahoning County news and sports,” Linert said in the story that appeared in Tuesday’s edition.

The roots of the Tribune Chronicle and its predecessors in the Mahoning Valley extend back to publication of the Trump of Fame in 1812, said Bill Lawson, executive director of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society. The Tribune Chronicle previously published a Mahoning County edition and Lawson said he is happy to see it plans to do so again. 

“Between the Tribune Chronicle, The Business Journal looking to expand coverage and possibly the other existing or to-be-created online or print publications, we’ll see how we fill that void [left by The Vindicator ceasing publication] going forward,” he said. 

The Youngstown Publishing Company Inc., doing business as The Business Journal, has announced it received a major capital infusion to assist the expansion of its  coverage. 

Decisions are still being made regarding the potential addition of new staff and what beats would be covered by the new product, Jarvis said. 

“We haven’t made any real decisions, but obviously the traditional newspaper beats are something that we’ll have to try to cover,” he said. 

How certain stories are reported and portrayed in each county is “somewhat unique and needs to be somewhat unique,” he acknowledged. 

“We look forward to producing a Mahoning County edition that will be attractive to the readers there,” Jarvis said. “Obviously just reporting the same stuff in both papers isn’t what we’re looking to do.”

Content will include obituaries and other material unique to the edition’s readership. In addition, the Tribune Chronicle plans to reach out to institutions such as the history society, Youngstown State University and the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County as potential providers of content. 

“There is a wide range of content that can be gathered from community resources,” such as columns and historical features, Jarvis said. 

The Mahoning Valley Historical Society “would love to have a platform to do more to reach a larger audience about regional history,” Lawson said. “The Tribune has covered a lot of our events in past years, so we appreciate their concern for our programs and look forward to having a cooperative relationship going forward.”

Aimee Fifarek, executive director of the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, said, “there are a lot of opportunities for contributions” from library staff. She has previously done interviews with reporters and authored at least one op-ed for The Vindicator.

The library has also been indexing obituaries and “key parts” of the Vindicator in-house for several years, with a special focus on enhancing its local history and genealogy services, she said. 

“Anything that we could do to help ourselves by helping the Tribune would be one way that would be definitely within our mission and beneficial to both sides,” Fifarek said. 

Undecided as of yet is whether the Tribune would establish a physical bureau in Mahoning County, Jarvis said. The newspaper is “still early in the process” of determining what is needed and how it will work out, Jarvis said. It also remains to be seen what role, if any, the four Town Crier weeklies – publications also owned by Ogden and distributed locally in Austintown, Boardman, Canfield and Poland – might play.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.