Company News

Tribune to Publish Mahoning Edition Under Vindy Name

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Vindicator and the Tribune Chronicle in Warren today announced an agreement for the Trumbull County newspaper to purchase the Vindicator nameplate, subscriber list and online domain name.

Terms of the deal, which both newspapers announced on their websites around 5:15 p.m., were not disclosed.

The agreement paves the way for the Warren newspaper, owned by Ogden Newspapers Inc. of Wheeling, W.Va., to publish beginning Sept. 1 “what we’re going to call the Vindicator Edition of the Tribune Chronicle,” says Charles Jarvis, Tribune Chronicle publisher and Ogden regional publisher.

“The biggest factor is being able to have a print newspaper continue to be delivered to our subscribers that was focused on the area. That was a major positive,” said Mark Brown, Vindicator general manager.

“It’s obviously a bittersweet time just like the initial announcement was, but we’re really quite pleased that someone is going to be putting out a newspaper focused on our area to our pint subscribers. That was of significant importance to us,” Brown reflected.

“We were pleased to find another family-owned company” – Ogden is owned by the Nutting family – “to carry on our name.”

The Tribune Chronicle had announced July 16, about two weeks after news broke that The Vindicator would cease publication Aug. 31, that it would introduce a Mahoning County edition Sept. 1.

“This agreement that we announced today really helps us solidify our position in the market,” Jarvis said.

Subscribers to the current Tribune Chronicle will not see any change in the product they receive but the Vindicator Edition will have more Mahoning County news, community news, entertainment and coverage of local sports teams.

The edition also will have some Trumbull County coverage as The Vindicator does now, as well as some news from Columbiana County and “big stories” in western Pennsylvania, according to Jarvis.

“It will be a significantly Mahoning County-centered paper and we will attempt to give Mahoning County its voice in print through the Vindicator Edition of the Tribune Chronicle,” he remarked.

Resources and staff are being added for the new publication but he did not disclose numbers or names of personnel being hired. Also, no plans have been made yet for a Mahoning County office.

Sources confirm a few reporters and editors at The Vindicator have been offered jobs at The Tribune. Carriers for The Vindicator may also have the opportunity to continue delivering the Tribune edition.

The acquisition of The Vindicator nameplate and circulation list “gives us the best position to sell advertising in Mahoning County,” Jarvis said.

Advertisers prefer paid subscribers and while the Tribune Mahoning County edition was obtaining paid subscriptions “very fast,” acquiring the 26,000-subscriber list from The Vindicator “gives us a very large number to start with,” he continued.

The deal between the two newspapers “is good news for the community and it makes total sense,” observes Dan Pecchia, president of Pecchia Communications in Canfield and former business editor of The Vindicator. “It’s puzzling why an arrangement like this wasn’t worked out sooner.”

Meanwhile, next week the McClatchy/Google partnership that plans to launch an online news site here has scheduled public forums to hear from local residents. In an email announcing the forums, Mandy Jenkins, general manager of the Compass Experiment — the name of the partnership — said she wants to learn what area residents “need from your local news? What stories aren’t getting told.”

The forums will be held Thursday and Friday from noon to 1:30 p.m.; on Thursday at the main branch of the Youngstown and Mahoning County Public Library, and then on Friday at the Boardman Library.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.