Old Arlington Newspaper Gets New Life

Star-Telegram bringing Citizen-Journal back as weekly Arlington newspaper

At a time when many publications are struggling to stay afloat, a historic North Texas daily is getting a rebirth.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is relaunching the Arlington Citizen-Journal as a weekly newspaper. It will be delivered to Arlington residents in single-family homes beginning Wednesday.

"I think the main casualty for people using the Internet for information is local news," said O.K. Carter, one-time publisher of the original Arlington Citizen-Journal.  "You can find national news, you can find state news, you can find things all over the place. But what you can't get is good, solid, local information, and I think people are hungry for that, and that's what I really think they are trying to do with Citizen-Journal is go back to that."

Arlington is home to Cowboys Stadium, the Texas Rangers and Six Flags and hosts some of the biggest concerts and sporting events in the nation. But the city of more than 370,000 people doesn't have a local newspaper.

The Star-Telegram publishes an Arlington news section seven days per week, but readers are eager for more, said Faye Reeder, the newspaper's Arlington community marketing director.

The newspaper said the Citizen-Journal will feature community stories, school news, local entertainment, business happenings and school sports.

Local businesses who don't want to pay for advertising in the large Dallas or Fort Worth newspapers now have a local vehicle in which to advertise.

"All these small merchants and small retailers -- they don't want to pay those kind of prices," Carter said. "Most of their business is going to be in the same town."

The Arlington Citizen-Journal was once the longest running publication in North Texas when it folded after more than 100 years in publication.

"Dated from 1883, it was actually old than the (Dallas) Morning News, older than the Star-Telegram, actually older than the city. The city itself was founded in 1984," said Carter, now a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Arlington.

At one time, a year's subscription cost just $1. As the city changed, the newspaper evolved with it.

"At one time, I think, the Columbia Journalism School named us one of the five best weekly newspapers in the country," Carter said.

He said the decision to shut the paper down was more of a branding decision than a financial one.

The reinvented Arlington Citizen-Journal will be available the old-fashioned way -- as well as digitally.

Star-Telegram subscribers will receive the weekly paper as a section of their Wednesday edition. The publication will also be delivered to nonsubscribers who live in single-family homes in Arlington. An online version will also be available.

The Star-Telegram also publishes seven other financially successful community newspapers, Reeder said.

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