Potomac News Online | About the area: Local newspapers bring news, advertising to your home

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The Potomac News and the Manassas Journal Messenger are the leading providers of local news and advertising for residents of Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

No other area publications come close to bringing county and city residents as much local sports, news, features, photographs, letters to the editor and coverage of area events, large and small, seven days a week.

These local papers, along with the daily Culpeper Star-Exponent, the weekly Stafford County Sun and a weekly real estate magazine HomeSeeker, an automotive guide CarSeeker and an employment publication CareerSeeker are published by Media General Northern Virginia Community Newspapers.

Media General is the largest publisher of newspapers in the Southeast.

The Northern Virginia group also publishes the Quantico Sentry, the official Quantico Marine Corps base newspaper, and the Belvoir Eagle, an award-winning publication for the U.S. Army.

The first issue of the Potomac News was published Sept. 24, 1959, as a weekly newspaper. The paper has been owned by various individuals and media companies through the years and has been owned by Media General of Richmond since 1997.

It evolved from a weekly newspaper to publishing twice a week, then three times a week, and is now a daily newspaper dedicated to providing the best in local news and information for its customers.

The Potomac News and related publications reach more than 145,250 households in Prince William County, southern Fairfax County, northern Stafford County and the Fredericksburg area.

In 2001, it joined forces with the Manassas Journal Messenger (also owned by Media General) to become one team dedicated to increasing the amount of local news and information presented to readers of each paper. The two newspapers now have some common sections with different front sections that focus intensely on the geographic area each newspaper serves.

Roots of the Manassas Journal Messenger reach back to a publication in 1869 under the name Manassas Gazette. The Gazette was absorbed by the Manassas Journal, owned by L.J. Cappon Virginia Newspapers, and ceased publication in July 1896. The Manassas Journal began publishing in May 1895 and then merged with the Manassas Messenger to become one publication in 1951.

The Manassas Messenger began publishing in June 1945 as a weekly and switched to a semi-weekly in February 1948. The Manassas Journal Messenger became a daily publication Oct. 29, 1973.


Dedicated to using a competent and well-trained workforce to publish and deliver high-quality information products to the community and people they serve, the Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger strive to make local news a priority. Their 155 employees work daily to better serve the community and its residents.

The papers’ largest fund-raiser for the community is the annual Hoops Fest, which raises money for local families in need while promoting the talents of area high school basketball players. The event brings together youth and adults in the community to work toward a common goal.

The newspapers are also strong supporters of the arts in Prince William County through sponsorships of Vpstart Crow theater company, the Manassas Dance Company and other arts organizations.

The Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger also participate in and provide sponsorships for the following events and organizations: Festival of Trees, Manassas Christmas Parade, American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Mentor Program, Children’s Festival, Kids Expo, Dumfries Charter Days, Prince William County Public Schools Education Foundation, Hemophilia Foundation, American Heart Walk, Brentsville Middle School Support Walk, Dale City Fourth of July Parade, Freedom Museum, Prince William County Fair, Haymarket Days, Historic Manassas Inc., events held by the Prince William Association of Realtors, Clean Community Council, Adopt-a-Highway program, Azalea Charities, MJ Shepherd Memorial Mile, Child Protection Partnership for Prince William County, events in connection with the Potomac Nationals and more.

Through the Christmas Basket campaign, the papers collect well over $40,000 annually from the community and businesses to aid the Salvation Army in assisting area families.

The Newspapers in Education program assists teachers by providing newspapers to be used in the classroom as a learning tool. Through partnerships with local businesses and individuals along with fund-raising throughout the year, the papers were able to provide more than 151,500 newspapers free of charge to area schools for the 2004-2005 school year.

The Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger publish special pages and sections regularly that benefit the community. Among these are: Prince William County Youth Salute applauding the best and brightest of Prince William County chosen through the Prince William Education Foundation; Discover Prince William, a guide for newcomers to the area and those thinking of moving here; a special employee recognition section for the Prince William County Public Schools and others.

The employees of Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger are also individually active in community affairs and contribute to the community by serving on a number of committees and in fund-raising activities. Many support the works of various non-profit agencies funded by the United Way.

Some of the other local charities and causes our employees support include breast cancer awareness and research, American Red Cross disaster planning, Action in the Community through Service, AIDS education and awareness, Northern Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Lion’s Club, Rotary Club, American Legion, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and local churches, synagogues and mosques.

The Potomac News office is at 14010 Smoketown Road, Woodbridge. The mailing address is P.O. Box 2470, Woodbridge VA 22195 or you may call (703) 878-8000. The Web site is www.PotomacNews.com.

The fax numbers are (703) 878-3993 for advertising  and (703) 878-8099 for news.

The Manassas Journal Messenger’s office is at 9009 Church St., Manassas. The mailing address is P.O Box 431, Manassas VA 20108 or you may call (703) 368-3101. The Web address is www.ManassasJM.com. The fax number is (703) 368-9017.


The Potomac News and the Manassas Journal Messenger guarantee home delivery of newspapers by 5:30 a.m. weekdays and 6:30 a.m. Sundays.

To subscribe to the Potomac News or the Manassas Journal Messenger, call the Circulation Department for rates and information at (703) 369-5556.

Subscribers who have not received their newspapers may call until 10 a.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday for a replacement copy.

If you go out of town, call to suspend delivery at least three days in advance and the carrier will be notified of the stop and restart dates.


Readers who have ideas, news tips or items of general interest for the Potomac News may call the  news editor at (703) 878-8056, e-mail [email protected] or write the newspaper.

For the Manassas Journal Messenger, the number is (703) 369-6589, e-mail [email protected] or by mail.


Obituaries are published in the Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger for a flat minimum charge of $90 which includes an obituary up to six column inches in length in both daily newspapers, a death notice that runs daily until the services are over and an online obituary at Legacy.com which can be accessed from the papers’ Web sites.

Should an obituary exceed six column inches, there is a charge of $13.15 for each additional column inch. Photographs of the deceased are encouraged and will be counted as part of the first six column inches.

Funeral notices, which also appear on the printed page and for which there is no charge, contain only the deceased’s name, age, community of residence, date of death and time, date and location of funeral and burial.

The deadline for obituaries is 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.


The Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger have developed a complete wedding package that allows readers to combine paid engagements and wedding announcements in the Sunday Life section with an interactive online service, Celebrations. There are eight packages from which to choose. For information and rates, call (703) 878-8042.

Free wedding and engagement announcements are available, with or without photo. These announcements measure one newspaper column wide by 16 lines deep.

For information about the free announcements, call (703) 878-8061 or e-mail [email protected].


Birth announcements and anniversary celebrations appear each Sunday in the Life section of the Potomac News and the Manassas Journal Messenger.

All submissions must have the name, address and daytime phone numbers of the persons involved. Photographs of new babies or of the anniversary couple are encouraged and are published free of charge. All photos must either be identified on the back or clearly identified on the file if sent by e-mail.

For information about announcements, call (703) 878-8061. Submissions may be mailed to the above address or e-mailed to [email protected].


Area church news appears each Saturday. Items should be submitted in writing by noon Wednesday. Include all relevant information and a contact person’s phone number.

For information about church news, call (703) 878-8061. Submissions may be mailed to the above address or e-mailed to [email protected].


Meeting announcements for local groups and organizations appear daily throughout the Potomac News and the Manassas Journal Messenger. Submit information for this listing seven days prior to your meeting.

To e-mail announcements, send them to [email protected] or mail them to the above address.


The Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger editorial pages serve as forums for their communities. Letters must be signed and include a home address and telephone number for verification.

The opinion page editor may be reached at (703) 878-8069, e-mail at [email protected], or by mail at the above address.


Community sports articles run on a space-available basis in the Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger. Results of youth or recreation league games should be turned in by noon Wednesday. Game stories should be brief (no more than four sentences), packaged together by division with the sport and name of the league clearly identified and should include the name, home and daytime phone number of a contact person.

To publicize sign-ups for recreation leagues, instructional programs, sports physicals and other future sports events, e-mail them to [email protected] or fax to (703) 878-8099. Include the name and phone number of a contact person and how long you want the announcement to run. They also run on a space available basis.


Classified ads for the Potomac News and the Manassas Journal Messenger are taken online at www.InsideNova.com, in person at the individual offices or by phone 24 hours a day at (703) 368-0156. The deadline is 4 p.m. on the day before publication and 4 p.m. on Friday for Saturday, Sunday and Monday papers.

For display advertising, call (703) 878-8009.


Information concerning photographs in the newspapers can be obtained by calling the Photography Department at (703) 878-8055. Reprints can be purchased at the following sizes and prices:

• (1 each) 8 x 10 – $20

• (2 each) 5 x 7 – $20 (two 5 x 7’s can be printed on one sheet of paper)

• (1 each) 11 x 14 – $35

Additional prints after purchasing the first:

• 8 x 10 or (2) 5 x 7 – $10 per additional print

• 11 x 14 – $15 per additional print

All reprints are in color, unless requested to be printed black and white. Allow two to three weeks for delivery.

Because of the way certain photos are cropped, all photos may not fit exactly to the dimensions of the print sizes we offer. We will size the print as closely to the requested print size as possible.

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