- The Washington Times - Friday, April 18, 2003

The publisher of the Frederick News-Post in Frederick County, Md., yesterday began distributing a sister newspaper, the Montgomery News-Post.
The daily broadsheet will cover Montgomery County, where the Frederick News-Post has between 2,000 and 3,000 subscribers, said Robin Quillon, vice president and general manager of Randall Family LLC, the publisher.
"It's going to be everything a daily newspaper should be, with a mix of local and national news," Mr. Quillon said.
The startup will be produced in Frederick, although the company has operated a Montgomery County bureau for more than 40 years, Mr. Quillon said.
The front page of the first Montgomery News-Post carried stories about pedestrian safety in the county and the latest political flare-up between Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, a Democrat.
The company's Montgomery County subscribers will be given the choice of keeping the Frederick News-Post or switching to the new paper, Mr. Quillon said. The new publication will carry news about Frederick County, too, he said.
The Montgomery News-Post will cost 50 cents Monday through Saturday and $1 on Sunday.
It joins a crowded field. The Gazette Newspapers Inc., a Washington Post Co. subsidiary, publishes more than 30 weekly newspapers in Montgomery, Prince George's and Frederick counties. It recently expanded into Carroll County.
Journal Newspapers also publish a daily paper in Montgomery County. The Journal recently switched from a broadsheet to a tabloid-style format, laid off several editors and reporters and closed its Montgomery and Prince George's offices. The papers now are produced from the Journal's Alexandria home base.
A Gazette representative did not return telephone calls. A Journal spokesman declined to comment.
"What is happening with the Journal is not a contributing factor in our decision to start the Montgomery News-Post. This has been in the planning stages for two years," Mr. Quillon said.
In 2001, Randall Family LLC purchased the Frederick News-Post, which is about 120 years old. Last year, the company merged the morning and afternoon editions into a single morning paper.
The introduction of the Montgomery News-Post could spell more trouble for the Montgomery Journal, said newspaper analyst John Morton. "It's as if they didn't have enough to worry about already," he said.
Introducing a daily newspaper is unusual these days, Mr. Morton said. A publisher usually begins a weekly newspaper and then switches to a daily version, but the weak economy has forced small dailies to convert to weekly papers, he said.

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