The Times (Trenton)

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The Times is a daily newspaper owned by Advance Publications that serves Trenton and the Mercer County, New Jersey area, with a strong focus on the government of New Jersey. The paper had a daily circulation of 77,405, with Sunday circulation of 88,336. It competes with the Trentonian, making it one of the smallest markets in the United States with two competing daily newspapers.[1]

The Trenton Times was founded in 1882. The paper was owned by the Kerney family from the turn of the 20th century, and was sold to The Washington Post Company in 1974 for $16 million.[2] Washington Post Company management had committed to overcoming its crosstown rival, the Trentonian, which had been founded in 1945 (by personnel on strike against The Times) and had been taking circulation away from The Times since its inception. The new management began a morning edition and started circulating a Saturday edition, led by a number of editors, publishers and circulation experts imported from The Post. Despite this commitment, The Times lost in excess of 11,000 daily readers in the 1970s, while the Trentonian gained 13,000. By 1982, the Trentonian had pulled ahead of The Times in daily circulation, and held a 67,000 to 62,000 edge in daily papers as of 1987. Area newspaper readers never adopted the Post's approach of turning The Times into a paper with a serious national and international focus, preferring the tabloid Trentonian and its local focus on "cheerful photographs of local residents". The difficulties faced by The Times were so challenging that Katharine Graham, chairman of The Post, called her experiences with The Times as her "Vietnam."[2][3][4]

Allbritton Communications Company bought the paper from The Washington Post Company on October 30, 1981, paying $10 to $12 million for the paper.[2] Allbritton reduced news staff at The Times from 80 employees to 56 shortly after its takeover, and made further cuts down to 52. In December 1981, The Times announced that it was dropping its evening edition and would become morning-only as of December 21, 1981.[5] Frustrations with what was perceived as business office interference with news reporting led to defections by a quarter of the news staff in early 1982. The home city was dropped from the title in 1985 as part of an effort to reach out to a broader suburban audience, with separate editions published for (and focusing on) the Trenton, Princeton and Burlington County areas. In December 1986, the paper was sold by Albritton for $50 million to Advance Publications, the privately held company owned by the Newhouse family.[3]


  1. ^ New Jersey Newspapers, New Jersey Insider. Accessed August 27, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c McFadden, Robert D. "WASHINGTON POST SELLS TRENTON TIMES TO ALLBRITTON COMPANY", The New York Times, October 31, 1981. Accessed August 27, 2008.
  3. ^ a b White, Victoria. "CHANGING TIMES IN TRENTON", The New York Times, February 15, 1987. Accessed August 27, 2008.
  4. ^ Sherman, Scott. "The evolution of Dean Singleton: once, angry reporters threw beer cans at him. Now he's reaching for journalistic respectability.", Columbia Journalism Review, March-April 2003. Accessed August 27, 2008. "Big profits at the Times never materialized, and Kay Graham eventually came to see the acquisition as her 'Vietnam.'"
  5. ^ via United Press International. "Trenton Times to Drop Its Afternoon Editions", The New York Times, December 20, 1981. Accessed August 27, 2008.

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