The Journal Pioneer
Journal Pioneer - A division of Transcontinental Media Inc.
316 Water St. - P.O Box 2480 - Summerside -Prince Edward Island - C1N 4K5
Nancy Johnson - Director of Operations
Phone: 902 562-5953
Brad Works - Managing Editor
Sandy Rundle - Director of Sales, P.E.I.
Paul Ramsay - Director of Advertising
Traci Gaudet - Sales Representative
Sonya Ramsay - Sales Representative
Maria Brant-McMahon - National Sales Clerk
Elizabeth Landrigan - Digital Specialist
Phone: (902) 629-6053
Fax: (902) 566-9830
Tracey Lidstone - District Manager, Circulation
Judy Works - Classified/Circulation CSR
Brad Works - Managing Editor
Darlene Shea - News Editor
Nancy MacPhee - Reporter
Colin MacLean - Reporter
Jason Simmonds - Sports Editor
Eric McCarthy - Western Bureau
Paula MacDonald - Alberton Office Clerk
Community Happenings is for non-profit groups to publicize upcoming events. It runs Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and as space permits. Keep submissions to less than 30 words. We recommend making submissions two weeks prior to the date of the event. Weekly meetings/events will be posted once only, at the beginning of the month. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or drop submissions off to our Water Street offices, labelled “Community Happenings”.
Death notices (sometimes called obituaries) are usually dealt with through local funeral homes. If you have a notice to submit, call 902-432-8216.
Mike Whelan - Director of Reader Sales and Distribution
Back in 1865, two gentlemen named Burtram and Bernard founded a small Summerside newspaper with the intention of informing and entertaining local readers with timeliness and accuracy and to provide a forum for merchants to advertise their products and services. Since that time, major expansions have been undertaken, new printing methods were introduced, formats were changed, the frequency of printing varied at times and highly technical computerized processes were brought in-but that original mission still lives on and thrives.
The Summerside Journal, as the original paper was called, was located in a small plant on Central Street in a building known to older residents as the Market Hall. Betram was the sole owner from 1867-1870. His partner from 1870-1872 was Charles W. Strong. They sold the newspaper to Albert L. Graves and James A. McMurtry in 1872. McMurtry died in October 1875 and Graves and Company took William A. Brennan into the business. He became the sole owner in 1880.
The Central Street location was a small, wooden building that burned with adjacent structures in 1884. That fire made way for the Market building, also known as the civic building or town hall, which was built in 1885 at the corner of Queen and Water. A major fire in April 1895 burned out Mr. Brennan's business for a second time. He was very proud of the fact that he never missed an issue either time, having his paper printed on someone else's press.
It was decided to build the current brick building. But in the intermittent period, thanks to staff dedication, the paper was still published.
A.R. Brennan, who directed the affairs of the weekly paper until his death in 1951, succeeded his father W.A. Brennan in 1916. It was only after the outbreak of the Second World War — on September 21, 1939, to be exact — that it became a daily paper, coming out six days a week. Brennan made that decision because he felt the people of this community deserved to be kept informed as promptly as possible on the great and terrible developments that were taking place all over the world. The original daily was, however, quite small and had only four-column pages, so within two months, Brennan enlarged the paper to a five-column by 17-inch tabloid size.
Within a couple of years, the paper dropped back to being published bi-weekly and by 1949, tri-weekly. In that year, it discontinued its sister paper, The P.E. Island Agriculturist; a newspaper dedicated primarily to the farming industry, which the company had been publishing since 1883. In 1947, the plant was once again gutted by fire and until the repairs could be made,
the paper was published at the plant of the rival paper, The Pioneer.
In 1951, it was decided to amalgamate The Journal with The Pioneer, which had been published in Alberton from 1876 to 1879, in Montague from 1879-1880, and then in Summerside from 1880 onward. Hence, the new paper became known as The Journal-Pioneer.
In October 1957, it became a five-day a week daily paper, focusing primarily on local news. This change meant the introduction of a news wire service with national and international news becoming an important part of the paper's content. A decade later, the United Press International wire service was replaced with the more comprehensive Canadian Press wire service. This is still being used today. While the wire copy originally arrived at the paper in noisy Teletype, today it arrives via satellite.
In 1959, the paper began publishing on Saturdays as well, making it officially a daily paper.
The paper, for almost 40 years, staffed a Charlottetown bureau with reporters to ensure coverage of Capital city and provincial government news. An Alberton bureau was also established in more recent years to help provide better coverage of Western P.E.I. news and events.
In 1967, under the direction of managing director and publisher, John Mungall, the newspaper's format changed from tabloid to full-size universal measure broadsheet.
In 1972, The Sterling Group (under the Hollinger Inc. umbrella) bought the paper. The late J. Elmer Murphy, who had been a reporter and then editor with the paper, was named its publisher. A position he retained until his retirement in 1980. A year after the takeover, the paper went to an all-new photo composition offset printing process. This speeded up the printing process considerably.
Ralph Heckbert succeeded Murphy as publisher until he too retired in the early '90s. Steen O. Jorgensen, who had been vice-president and general manger of the Sterling Group, was then brought into The Journal-Pioneer for a couple of years.
Replacing Jorgensen was current publisher, Sandy Rundle, who continues to strive to meet the paper's original mission. In early 2000, with the arrival of the new millennium, he helped introduce a new redesign of the paper in an effort to give it a better appearance and to make it easier to read.
In August 2002, The Journal-Pioneer and its sisters company, printer Williams and Crue, officially became part of the Transcontinental Media Inc. family, along with the Charlottetown Guardian and several regional newspapers. In the winter 2003, a new printing plant was built in Borden-Carleton. The Journal-Pioneer newsroom, circulation and advertising staff remain in the Summerside location, at the corner of Queen and Water streets.
But even with all its newness and modern appearance, the paper still somehow retains a traditional look. Readers still feel it is "their' newspaper.