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New Jersey’s Oldest Newspaper To Close Friday

January 3, 1992

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) _ The Daily Journal, the state’s oldest newspaper, will close Friday after losing money for two years.

″Over the last two years, we’ve taken some stringent cost-reduction measures, but in the end, the recession proved too stubborn,″ Publisher Richard J. Vezza said Thursday.

Vezza wouldn’t say how much money the 212-year-old newspaper had lost. Most of its 84 employees will be laid off.

He announced Nov. 1 that the paper would fold if a buyer couldn’t be found by Jan. 3. One offer was received, from Rudder Publishing Co. of Daytona Beach, Fla., but after two weeks of talks ″we realized today we were not going to be able to do a deal,″ Vezza said.

He posted a notice of the closing on the newspaper’s bulletin board and met throughout the day with employees.

″They were sad. They’ve known about this for 60 days, so I can’t say it was a shock to them,″ Vezza said.

The closing is the second in a year for North Jersey Newspapers Co., which in April sold the assets of the 117-year-old Hudson Dispatch of Union City to the competing Jersey Journal of Jersey City. The company also owns the North Jersey Herald and News of Passaic.

The Daily Journal published Monday through Saturday and had a circulation of 30,000. The newspaper served Union County, which has a population of about 494,000. Elizabeth itself has 110,000 residents and borders Newark to the southwest.

The paper’s final editorial Friday, printed under the headline ″Goodbye: A friend bids farewell,″ described the Journal’s history, starting with its founding on Feb. 16, 1779, by Shepard Kollock as a voice to combat newspapers loyal to Great Britain.