The owners of Community News Service in Lawrenceville and U.S. 1 Publishing Co. in Princeton have merged to create a single company publishing 10 community newspapers with a combined circulation of more than 160,000 copies in Mercer County and central New Jersey. The combined company publishes on average more than 520 pages per month.

Jamie Griswold and Tom Valeri, co-publishers of Community News Service, and Richard K. Rein, founding editor and publisher of U.S. 1, share ownership of the new company, Community News Service LLC. Rein will serve as editorial director of the new company, and will continue as editor of the weekly U.S. 1 Newspaper and the bi-weekly West Windsor-Plainsboro News. Griswold and Valeri will be co-publishers of the combined company, which also includes eight monthly papers serving Hamilton, Ewing, Trenton, Lawrence, Robbinsville, Hopewell, Princeton, and Bordentown.

“I was a reporter and writer who found myself suddenly immersed in the business of journalism 27 years ago when I founded U.S. 1,” says Rein, who previously worked for Time magazine and as a freelancer for People, New Jersey Monthly, and many other publications. “Jamie Griswold and Tom Valeri are business people who got involved in community journalism. The merger brings new strength to both sides.”

Griswold’s career includes corporate positions in business development and sales as well as the entrepreneur who founded Cafe Ole in downtown Trenton. Griswold and Valeri, a Mercer County native and local businessperson, note that building a solid business foundation has been one of the core objectives of their organization. “Training and professional development are key to our growth and the addition of Rich Rein and the experienced U.S. 1 editorial team will help us develop our young community journalists,” says Griswold, who began Community News Service when he founded the Trenton Downtowner newspaper 12 years ago.

“Another attractive part of the merger was that we had virtually no overlap in circulation coverage or advertisers,” says Valeri. “We also feel strongly that each of our newspapers should have its own community identity, and U.S. 1 followed that same approach when it started its West Windsor-Plainsboro paper.” All three owners are longtime residents of Mercer County.

The new company, with a total of 21 employees, will continue to operate at its present locations. The monthly publications will be edited at 15 Princess Road, Suite K, Lawrenceville, under the direction of managing editor Joe Emanski. The non-monthly publications, currently U.S. 1 and the WW-P News, will be edited at 12 Roszel Road, Suite C-205, Princeton.

Ad sales, ad production, and other business operations will be concentrated at 15 Princess Road.

The papers’ websites will continue with serving the U.S. 1 business community, for the West Windsor-Plainsboro community, and for the monthly community papers. For more information contact Griswold or Valeri at 609-396-1511, or Rein at 609-452-7000.

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