Newspaper Division Celebrates 20 Years of Publishing

April 26, 2013

By: Stella Morrison

Greater Media Newspapers is celebrating its milestone 20th year as the publisher of the Examiner and the North/South Brunswick Sentinel.

The two papers joined the Greater Media array of free-distribution weekly publications in 1993 as part of a strategic move to expand business in Middlesex and Monmouth counties, according to former Executive Editor Greg Bean, who continues to write a highly read weekly column that runs in all of the Greater Media newspapers.

The inclusion of the two papers was part of a growth spurt under Bean and the newspapers’ other leadership, moving from a circulation of less than 100,000 to more than 250,000 today.

“[The two new papers] basically helped double the size of the company,” Bean said. “Our use of total market circulation (where an issue is delivered to every home in a certain ZIP code) provided our advertisers with a way to get to every home in a targeted ZIP code. It greatly increased the company’s attractiveness for advertisers.”

North Brunswick and South Brunswick are towns in western Middlesex County, New Jersey, located halfway between Princeton University and Rutgers University. Census data from 2010 puts the population at more than 40,000 for each town.

“The demographic and income levels were good, and both communities were very vibrant,” Bean said. “We thought that they would make a good addition to the East Brunswick Sentinel [which covers the nearby towns of East Brunswick, Jamesburg, South River, Spotswood, Helmetta, Monroe Township and Milltown] and the Suburban [which covers the eastern Middlesex County towns of Sayreville, South Amboy and Old Bridge]. We wanted to add on to our strongest publications.”

The paper, which combines North and South Brunswick into one weekly issue, used to have separate editions for each town but later consolidated.

The Examiner, which covers Millstone, Roosevelt, Allentown and Upper Freehold in Monmouth County, was founded for similar reasons in similar circumstances, according to Bean.

“The area served by the Examiner is a really desirable demographic area … and it was believed that advertisers from adjacent coverage areas would want to add that circulation onto their advertising to reach those people,” Bean said.

Reception for the Examiner in particular was very strong in those communities, and Bean noted that the paper developed a very loyal following.

“The editors who worked with the Examiner really came to love the paper and the area and have a real interest in seeing it succeed,” Bean said.

“I think the Examiner developed one of the most loyal followings of any of our papers, part of which is because it covers such a wonderful area.”

Bean said that all the communities covered by both papers were “very happy” to have their own local newspaper provided by Greater Media.

“People are very happy to have these papers in their communities,” Bean said. “We always strive to put out the best paper we could possibly put out.”