The Washington Star plans soon to publish five localized daily editions for city and suburban readers. Murray J. Gart, the Star's editor, announced yesterday.
Gart said the first of the new editions would be published for Virginia readers next month, with others for the District of Columbia and Maryland to follow. All five will appear regularly by the end of November, he said.
The announcement, made in a speech at the National Press Club, represents the first major new direction to be taken by the evening and Sunday newspaper since it was acquired early this year by Time Inc.
In a related development. The Star announced that Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-Tex.) would join the Evening Star Newspaper Co. board of directors when she retires from Congress at the end of the current session. The board will be expanded from ine to 10 members when she joins it, a Star spokesman said.
Gart said The Star's new localized editions would be published for Fairfax County, Arlington-Alexandria, the District of Columbia, Montgomery County and Prince George's County. Editorial offices will be estalished in each community for each edition, Gart said, with all papers to be printed at the Star's Washington plant at 225 Virginia Ave. SE.
A former chief of correspondents for Time magazine who has been editor of the Star for three months. Gart disclosed few details of the new venture other than to say the editions would be "an integral part of The Star" and "will carry a full range of news."
Gart declined to answer specific questions beyond what he told the Press club. He said a limited expansion of The Star's news staff is planned.
Increased zoning of The Star's editions had been under consideration since even before the paper's purchase by Time Inc. Both The Star and its larger morning rival, The Washington Post, now publish weekly editions aimed at city and surburban readers.
Gart said there are no current plans to shift The Star to morning publication in direct competition with The Post. "Afternoon papers can make it against strong morning competition . . . if - but only if - they good newspapers." Gart said.