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Upcoming changes to The Journal will position it well for the future

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OGDENSBURG - The Journal is about to get a dramatic makeover.

The newspaper will have a whole new look and feel at the beginning of March, in addition to changing its publication frequency to twice a week. The St. Lawrence County-wide Advance-News will continue to be published each Sunday to round out a three-day-a-week publication schedule.

Johnson Newspapers Corp. owns The Journal, which traces its roots back to The Republican Journal’s creation in 1830.

CEO John B. Johnson said the upcoming changes will position the newspaper to remain the local authority on community news, sports and photography for many years to come.

“This change provides us the opportunity to bring a contemporary and more focused look at Ogdensburg and the surrounding communities,” Mr. Johnson said. “By publishing twice a week in print, we can dedicate more time to telling the story of the community in more detail.”

The newspaper will be published on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is currently published Tuesday through Saturday.

Changing the publication frequency to twice weekly will allow for expanded news and sports sections. Instead of a two-section, 12-page publication, it will be a three-section, 24-page newspaper that will carry even more in-depth local news, events, features, photos, and youth, high school and college sports.

In addition, the company will launch a revamped website at the beginning of March that will be updated multiple times a day to inform readers up to the minute about community happenings.

“A renewed emphasis on daily online posts and updates will keep the community informed about breaking news, weather-related issues, and events,” Mr. Johnson said. “I am a young guy, only 42 years old, and I want this media company to be a positive voice in Ogdensburg and the surrounding communities for generations to come. Delivering a better, more informative newspaper twice a week will allow that to happen.”

The changes will take effect March 4.

Retired Editor-Publisher Charles W. Kelly said the change is a positive one for the company and community.

“I think it’s the right thing to do at this time,” he said. “I think Ogdensburg has been very fortunate to have its own newspapers for almost 200 years.”

He said The Journal and Advance-News have been a consistent force over the years to bring about positive change in the community.

“I can’t imagine what would have happened with the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center if we didn’t have the support of our local newspapers,” Mr. Kelly said. “The coverage and editorials were so important.”

Mr. Kelly chaired a local task force that successfully lobbied the state to reverse the Office of Mental Health’s plans to close the psychiatric center’s inpatient wards.

He said other causes the newspaper championed over the years included the effort to keep Ogdensburg Correctional Facility open, the relocation of the U.S. post office to its original State Street location, and the formation of the city’s council-manager form of government.

“The newspapers have been very important to all of the positive changes that have happened here,” he said. “It’s important as a local employer as well. The newspaper has supported me, my family and the community over the years, and it’s important for the community to support it as well.”

The Daily Courier-Observer will continue its Tuesday through Saturday publication schedule, according to company officials.

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