NEW BRITAIN - Local developer Frank Maccarone has bought the New Britain City Journal and plans to highlight all the positive aspects of the city, he said Tuesday.
“I was born and raised in the city,’ said Maccarone, 49. “I think it [the City Journal] can be a plus for the town. I think it’s needed. It’s given out for free and some people can’t afford to buy the paper or access a paper online.”
Robin Vinci, a former New Britain Herald reporter who started the City Journal as a weekly in 2009, will continue to have a hand in the venture, Maccarone said.
The free paper will be distributed in news boxes at stores, City Hall, the post office and several other locations, he said.
Vinci and contributors will cover topics of interest and space will be provided for local columnists.
The paper has appeared only sporadically since early summer.
Vinci hinted in the Sept. 19 issue that the City Journal would be changing
“In the next couple of weeks the City Journal will be undergoing a transition of sorts,” Vinci said in her weekly column. “Please be patient with the paper, much, much more to come.”
Vinci did not answer phone calls Tuesday. Her new title will be publisher emeritus, according to a press release.
Maccarone, with the help of Karol Steczkowski, creative director of Axim Design & Marketing, hope to have their inaugural issue out on Oct. 25.
Axim, based in Berlin will put the paper together under Maccarone’s direction, Steczkowski said. The rest of the editorial team is still being assembled, Steczkowski said.
The Oct. 11 issue, with Vinci still listed as editor, has a new look, with clean lines and a line underneath the nameplate that reads “About the Community, For the Community.”
Maccarone and the 35-year-old Steczkowski say they plan on focusing on the positive aspects of the city.
“I think Frank and I have a vision,” Steczkowski said. “We want to bring to light the really positive stuff that happens in New Britain. Even though there are other outlets that cover some of that, we want to echo and amplify that.”
Maccarone, who in 2013 donated a space for the city to run an emergency cold weather shelter for homeless people, declined to say how much he paid for the City Journal.
“If you had asked three weeks ago if I would be doing this, I would have said no,” Maccarone said.
He heard that Vinci might be interested in selling and approached her about it, Maccarone said.
“I truly believe that something like this would be a positive thing for the city,” he said.
The pair will have contributing writers and will come up with fresh ideas for columns and coverage, Steczkowski said. They are also looking for submissions from the community.
“I’m really excited about covering some of the cool stuff in the city,” Steczkowski said. “We have ideas like a spotlight on a local artist, different stuff you don’t see in the newspaper on a daily basis.”
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.