The Journal News was created through a merger of several daily community newspapers serving the three counties. Although the current newspaper's name comes from the Rockland Journal-News, which was based in West Nyack, N.Y., and served Rockland County, the Rockland Journal-News was actually the third-largest newspaper that Gannett merged to create the larger newspaper. The Reporter Dispatch from White Plains, N.Y., and the Herald Statesman in Yonkers, N.Y. were larger and served Westchester County. For years prior to the October 12, 1998, merger that created The Journal News, ten of the newspapers shared substantial content and printing presses.
Gannett acquired nine of the newspapers in 1964 from the Macy family and added The Star in Peekskill, N.Y., in 1985. These newspapers previously appeared on newsstands in the evening. In 1989, Gannett created a morning edition for Putnam County, Westchester, and the Bronx called The Sunrise, but it folded after a year. Today, The Journal News appears in the morning like other New York dailies.
Newspapers that merged in 1998 to create The Journal News:
In 2005, The Journal News expanded its Custom Publishing division and began publishing a series of suburban lifestyle magazines about the Lower Hudson Valley region. The first of these publications was InTown, which covered the Westchester market with hyper-local editions targeting different regions of the county:
In late 2006, these numerous editions were all consolidated into one county-wide publication, InTown Westchester, which publishes 10 times a year. The Journal News also successfully launched Rockland Magazine and Putnam Magazine in 2005, and Scarsdale Magazine (originally InTown Scarsdale) in early 2006.
The Journal News also publishes five ultra-local community weekly "Express" newspapers serving Northern Westchester, Putnam, Yorktown/Cortlandt, Sound Shore and White Plains as well as the Review Press, a weekly newspaper covering Eastchester, Bronxville and Tuckahoe.
The Journal News' Web site, LoHud.com, features daily news updates, more than 40 blogs as well as Varsity Insider, an online source for varsity sports, featuring rosters, schedules and statistic for high school teams throughout the region.
On March 7, 2010 The Journal News closed its press and outsourced printing.
On December 22, 2012 The Journal News published an interactive map showing the names, addresses and home locations of all pistol permit holders licensed in Westchester and Rockland counties, New York.
The following day, blogger Christopher Fountain published the names and addresses of the staffers of The Journal News. The newspaper and some of its staff responded by hiring armed security, a move that critics called hypocritical considering the paper's anti-gun stance.
Rockland County law enforcement officers condemned the map, saying that it endangered lives, including those of corrections officers. Several newspapers also published reports of victims of domestic violence, rape, or other violent crimes who reported that their attackers now had possession of their addresses as their names were published online.
Newsday has reported that police are investigating if the Journal News pistol permit map played a role in a burglary in White Plains, New York. According to police, at least two burglars broke into a home on January 12, 2013 but were unsuccessful in an attempt to open a gun safe, which contained legally owned weapons. Police are investigating what role, if any, the Journal News database played in the burglars' decision to target the home.
The Daily Mail has reported that a burglary has occurred in a similarly mapped home in New City, New York, on January 16, 2013. Burglars pried escaped with two handguns, two pistol permits, cash, savings bonds and jewelry. The firearms were in the stolen safe.
On August 7, 2013, the newspaper laid off 26 staff members, including 17 journalists.
Magazines published by The Journal News: