The Princeton Packet/Broad Street Media, 300 Witherspoon Street, Box 350, Princeton 08542. 609-924-3244. Joe Eisele, publisher. www.centraljersey.com.
The reconfiguration of Princeton’s local media landscape continues, as the new owner of the Princeton Packet has replaced Jim Kilgore, the longtime publisher of the weekly paper, with Joe Eisele, formerly publisher of Elauwit Media. The company announced it will also move its headquarters from its main office at 300 Witherspoon Street to another location on the same street, while moving non-editorial staff to Manalapan.
In September, both the Packet Media Group, the publisher of the Packet, and Elauwit Media, which publishes the Sun papers, were bought by Pennsauken-based businessman Richard Donnelly as part of a larger buyout of several Pennsylvania and Central Jersey publications. (U.S. 1, September 21, 2016.)
Donnelly now owns Broad Street Media, which publishes Philadelphia Weekly among other papers, Midweek Wire in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, The Wire in South Jersey, and Greater Media, which publishes 10 community newspapers. All together he now owns 35 publications.
The company has not said whether it will continue to publish both the Princeton Sun and the Princeton Packet, both weekly community newspapers.
According to the Packet, Eisele made his career in advertising, working for the Trentonian, the Packet, and Elauwit, where he became publisher. He was quoted in his own paper as saying he wants to re-establish the company’s presence in Lawrence, the former home of the Lawrence Ledger.
Kilgore, who still owns a quarter of Packet Media, said he plans to work as a consultant for the company. In a column published on October 24 on the Princeton Packet’s website, Kilgore reminisced about going to visit the Packet with his father, Barney Kilgore, who bought the paper in 1955. The senior Kilgore also ran Dow Jones and Company, publishers of the Wall Street Journal. Kilgore wrote that he was reluctant to go into the family business at first, but that a stint as a reporter convinced him that “ink flowed” in his veins.
“Newspaper publishing is a business, but it is also a community service endeavor. The greatest reward of being in journalism is not the bottom line that the publication produces but the waiting line an editorial or news story produces at the voting booth. What I mean to say is that publishing a quality newspaper is in part a public trust, an obligation to provide a critical community service,” he wrote.