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The May 24, 2012 front page of
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Newark, New Jersey 07102
The Star-Ledger is the largest circulated newspaper in the U.S. state of New Jersey and is based in Newark. It is a sister paper to The Jersey Journal of Jersey City, The Times of Trenton and the Staten Island Advance, all of which are owned by Advance Publications.
The Newark Star-Ledger's daily circulation is larger than the next two largest New Jersey newspapers combined and its Sunday circulation is larger than the next three papers combined.
The Star-Ledger's main competitor in New Jersey is The Record, which is based in Bergen County.
The Newark Daily Advertiser, founded in 1832, was Newark's first daily newspaper. It subsequently evolved into the Newark Star-Eagle, owned by what eventually became Block Communications. S. I. Newhouse bought the Star-Eagle from Block and merged it with the Newark Ledger, which he'd bought in 1939, to become the Newark Star-Ledger. The paper dropped Newark from its masthead sometime in the 1970s, but it is still popularly called the Newark Star-Ledger by many New Jersey residents because of its heritage and its editorial location.
During the 1960s The Star-Ledger’s chief competitor was the Newark Evening News, once the most popular newspaper in New Jersey. In March 1971, the Star-Ledger surpassed the Evening News in daily circulation, because the Newark News was on strike. The Evening News shut down in 1972.
Perhaps learning a lesson after the Newark Evening News’ disastrous move to a high traffic area (trapping its delivery trucks in inner-city traffic) the Star-Ledger opened a satellite plant in Piscataway. The Piscataway location offered quick access to Union, Monmouth, Somerset, and Middlesex counties.
The Star-Ledger was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2005 for its comprehensive and clear-headed coverage of the resignation of the Governor of New Jersey Jim McGreevey, after he confessed to adultery with a male lover.
The paper awards the Star-Ledger Trophy each year to high school teams that end up as the number one team in their respective sport in the state of New Jersey.
2000s financial troubles
In 2005, George Arwady became the publisher of The Star-Ledger. A graduate of Columbia University, Arwady had previously been the publisher of the Kalamazoo Gazette in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Having worked closely with the Newhouse family for years, Arwady was asked to move to Newark to financially revamp the paper.
Because the paper was losing money, parent company Advance Publications said on July 31, 2008 that it would sell the Star-Ledger unless it could get 200 of its non-union staff to voluntarily leave under a buyout offer, and its unionized truck drivers and mailers to agree to concessions. On September 16 publisher George Arwady sent employees a status update by e-mail, saying that management felt progress had been made on the buyout and concessions from the mailers, but that management is "far from an agreement with the Drivers’ union.". The email continued:
- Since it is doubtful that the Drivers will ratify an agreement by October 8, 2008, we will be sending formal notices to all employees this week, as required by both federal and New Jersey law, advising you that the Company will be sold, or, failing that, that it will close operations on January 5, 2009.
On October 24, 2008, the newspaper announced that 168 newsroom employees had offered to take the company's buyout offer, and that the company had accepted 151 of them, which resulted in a newsroom staff that was 40% smaller.
On Jan. 16, 2013, the newspaper announced layoffs of 34 employees including 18 newsroom staff.
- Amzi Armstrong (1832-?)
- William Burnet Kinney (?-1851)
- Thomas T. Kinney (1851–1895
- James Smith, Jr. (1895–1915)
- Paul Block (1915–1939)
- Samuel Irving Newhouse, Sr. (1939–1979)
- Donald Newhouse (1979-?)
- Mark Newhouse (?-Incumbent)
In 1995, following the retirement of 32-year veteran editor Mort Pye, Jim Willse was appointed the editor of the Ledger. Willse was the former editor and publisher of the New York Daily News. Prior to accepting the Ledger's editor Willse headed up the review of electronic information options for all Newhouse newspapers. He also expanded the Ledger's use of color and encouraged a more aggressive editorial team. The National Press Foundation named Willse its 1999 recipient of the George Beveridge Editor of the Year Award in recognition of Ledger's coverage of racial profiling by the New Jersey State Police.
Upon Willse's retirement in October 2009, managing editor Kevin Whitmer took over as editor.
The Star-Ledger in popular culture
- The Star-Ledger was featured prominently various times in the television series The Sopranos, an HBO drama series set in New Jersey. Tony Soprano received home delivery of the paper, and several episodes opened with him picking it up at the end of his driveway.
- The Star-Ledger serves as the inspiration for a fictional newspaper in an award-winning series of mystery novels by Brad Parks.
- The newspaper was also referenced by comedian George Carlin in the 2004 comedy/drama, Jersey Girl, which was written and directed by New Jersey native Kevin Smith.
- The Star Ledger was also featured in Robert Kurson's 2004 novel, Shadow Divers.
The Star-Ledger prices are: $1.00 daily and $2.00 Sunday.
- Zan Stewart
- "2009 Top 100 Daily Newspapers in the U.S. by Circulation" (PDF). BurrellesLuce. 2008-09-30. http://www.burrellesluce.com/top100/2009_Top_100List.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
- New Jersey Press Association - Member Newspapers - Dailies, New Jersey Press Association; Star-Ledger data from Editor & Publisher April 2007 article.
- Star-Ledger gives staff a deadline for buyouts from nj.com
- 'Star-Ledger' Publisher Threatens January 2009 Shutdown, a September 2008 article from Editor & Publisher
- Official: 40% of 'Star-Ledger' Newsroom Exiting, an October 24, 2008 article from Editor & Publisher
- "Star-Ledger axing 34 employees". CBS local. Jan. 16, 2013. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/01/16/star-ledger-axing-34-employees-in-first-major-layoff/.
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