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Ogdensburg Journal returning as weekly paper

Newspaper graphic.
Newspaper graphic.(Source: MGN)
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 4:32 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Two years after it was shut down, the Ogdensburg Journal is returning.

The newspaper will be published and distributed weekly by mail starting in June, according to a statement from the Johnson Newspaper Corporation.

In an era when newspaper closures are common, the revival of the Journal is unusual.

Alec E. Johnson, president and chief operating officer of Johnson Newspaper Corp., said the company has been listening to the community.

“We are excited to bring The Journal back to readers who told us how the paper has been missed in the community. The Journal will be uniquely Ogdensburg, a place where we hope to share the stories and issues important to your community,” Mr. Johnson said.

The relaunched Journal will have a minimum of two eight-page sections and include local news, editorials, calendars, sports and more.

The Journal has a long history in Ogdensburg, dating back to 1858, and for much of the time it was a small, but feisty daily paper. Its longtime publisher, Charles W. Kelly, and editor Jim Reagen used the Journal to aggressively cover the news, uncover corruption, and promote the virtues of Ogdensburg.

The newly relaunched Journal will be the work of two of the paper’s veterans - Matt Curatolo and Dave Shea.

Curatolo grew up on Dry Hill in Watertown and graduated from South Jefferson Central School in 1995. He has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and writing from SUNY Potsdam.

He joined The Journal in March 2001 as a reporter covering everything from local and county governments to school districts, politics and breaking news.

“I learned what makes local journalism tick from Jim Reagen and the late Chuck Kelly,” Mr. Curatolo said.

In 2010, he was named city editor at The Journal before joining the city staff as its parks and recreation director in 2011.

Shea, along with Kelly and Reagen, is most closely associated with the history of the paper.

Hired to cover sports in 1973, he attempted retirement in 2018, but quickly ended up back at the Journal and after it closed, a web site he started dedicated to local sports.

There was no hesitation from Shea when he was asked to join the effort to bring the Journal back.

“I am very excited at The Journal returning. I guess I am a lifer and have always taken a great of pride and gotten a lot of satisfaction in covering sports and putting out newspapers,” Shea said. “To me, the Journal returning will also continue the legacy of Chuck Kelly who ran the paper for over 50 years.”

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