Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Heritage Newspapers launches new publication

Heritage Newspapers will soon launch A2 Journal, a free weekly newspaper focusing on Ann Arbor, and this is our first official blog post. I thought I would post something in advance of publication to keep readers informed about what we're up to since we already have a lot of followers on Twitter asking questions and wishing us the best.

The new publication will be a home-delivered community newspaper covering what makes Ann Arbor unique, and will be distributed to 20,000 households in the Ann Arbor School District area beginning July 9. We plan to cover Ann Arbor government, businesses, schools, high school sports, youth sports, the arts and entertainment, and we welcome submissions from nonprofits, service clubs, community organizations and readers. This new venture will feature the interesting, quirky and traditional –– the people, places, traditions and events that define Ann Arbor.

I think it's a very exciting time for Heritage Newspapers. As newspapers are being shut down or scaling back publication schedules across the country –– including some in the Journal Register Co. chain, parent company of Heritage Newspapers –– we are launching one, and that's a testament to our belief in the viability of the Ann Arbor market. Like our sister publications at Heritage Newspapers, this new venture will be community-focused, which is what we do best. Many of our publications, including those covering Chelsea, Dexter, Saline, Milan and Manchester, have won state and national awards for news reporting, lifestyles writing, photography, newspaper design, column writing, commentary pages, enterprise stories, sports and general excellence.

In addition to myself as editor, A2 Journal’s staff will include Terry Jacoby as assistant editor, Don Richter as sports editor, Lisa Allmendinger as staff reporter and Mike Larson as sports reporter.

I will continue to oversee the seven Heritage newspapers covering the communities surrounding Ann Arbor, while Terry will serve as assistant editor and Don as sports editor.

A Pittsfield Township resident, I began my journalism career in 1992 at The Dexter Leader, and have held several leadership roles within the company during the last 17 years, including editor of The Chelsea Standard, The Dexter Leader, The Saline Reporter and The Milan News-Leader. I also served as interim editor of The Manchester Enterprise. I helped lead the Chelsea and Dexter newspapers to their first Newspaper of the Year awards from the Michigan Press Association.

Terry, a resident of Commerce Township, most recently served as the editor of The Dexter Leader and Chelsea Standard and he will continue to help lead those papers. His 20-plus years experience in journalism includes stops at Heritage Newspapers’ The Ile Camera in Grosse Ile, The Sacramento Bee, Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., and The Detroit News.

Don has served as sports editor of The Chelsea Standard and The Dexter Leader since fall 2000 and Mike is a former sports editor at The County Press, a three-day-a-week newspaper in Lapeer.

Lisa is a familiar face around Washtenaw County. She has almost 30 years in the newspaper business as both a reporter and editor, and for the past several years has worked as a stringer for The Ann Arbor News, which plans to cease publication next month.

In addition to this blog, A2 Journal has established a presence on the social networking sites Twitter ( and Facebook in advance of its first edition.

Readers will soon find the newspaper, photos and videos online at, which will have links to local videos and this staff blog, Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal.

The new paper is part of the Journal Register Co., which owns 20 daily newspapers and 159 non-daily publications. The company operates about 200 individual and specialty Web sites that are affiliated with the JRC’s daily newspapers, non-daily publications and its network of employment Web sites.

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