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Friday, March 4, 2022

Media Note: Top Burlington Free Press Editor to Leave Paper

Posted By on Fri, Mar 4, 2022 at 3:04 PM

The new Free Press office in Williston - FILE: COURTNEY LAMDIN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • File: Courtney Lamdin ©️ Seven Days
  • The new Free Press office in Williston
Emilie Stigliani, the executive editor of the Burlington Free Press, is leaving the newspaper to take an editing job in California at the Sacramento Bee.

Stigliani's last day is Monday, March 7. She's spent nearly nine years at the Free Press, including the last three as the top editor. Stigliani penned a goodbye letter that the paper published online Friday morning.

"The Free Press gave me my first opportunity to grow as an editor and to find joy serving as a partner to reporters and editors and as liaison between you, the reader, and our newsroom," she wrote.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Media Note: Printing Problems Mount for Several Vermont Newspapers

Posted By on Tue, Dec 14, 2021 at 3:58 PM

The headquarters of the Rutland Herald - FILE: CALEB KENNA ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • File: CALEB KENNA ©️ Seven Days
  • The headquarters of the Rutland Herald
Printing problems are causing chaos at the Times Argus and Rutland Herald newspapers, holding up home deliveries and annoying readers who count on getting the paper at the same time every day.

“Our newspapers have not been getting into the hands of our motor route carriers on time,” editor Steve Pappas wrote on November 29 to Times Argus readers, explaining the problems. A similar editorial ran in the Rutland Herald. “Certain inserts have not been in the papers, or delayed beyond their usefulness, which is unacceptable to us.”

Pappas works for Sample News Group, the Pennsylvania-based parent of the Times Argus, Rutland Herald, and the Vermont Journal in Ludlow. He’s asking readers to be patient while the printer, Upper Valley Press in Haverhill, N.H., finds a way around the supply chain and worker shortage crises that are delaying production.

Meanwhile, Pappas has found another printer to produce some of the company's papers, and he’s contemplating a wholesale move to another press. However, no Vermont companies do the kind of printing he needs, and Pappas said suitable ones in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Québec tend to have their hands full.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Media Note: Amid Money Woes, Hardwick Gazette to Sell Its Building

Posted By on Tue, Dec 7, 2021 at 6:09 PM

The Hardwick Gazette building, pictured last fall - MATTHEW ROY ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Matthew Roy ©️ Seven Days
  • The Hardwick Gazette building, pictured last fall
The Hardwick Gazette, the 132-year-old weekly newspaper of record in its namesake Northeast Kingdom town, will sell its building and shift to a remote newsroom to save money.

Ray Small, the editor and owner, said Tuesday that the Gazette’s advertising revenues dropped by 90 percent after the pandemic hit, “and they really haven’t come back.”

The Gazette stopped publishing a print version in the spring of 2020 but continued publishing a digital edition online, available for a small fee. In last week's issue, the paper announced its plans to close its offices, along South Main Street, on December 31. The paper has been published since 1889.

There are no plans to stop publishing altogether, Small said, though the paper is losing money. In fact, he'd like to bring back the print version someday.

"We’re fine, all things considered," he said.

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Friday, October 15, 2021

Media Note: The Burlington Free Press Moves to Williston

Posted By on Fri, Oct 15, 2021 at 6:18 PM

The new office in Williston - COURTNEY LAMDIN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Courtney Lamdin ©️ Seven Days
  • The new office in Williston
The Burlington Free Press is no longer based in Burlington.

After nearly 200 years in the Queen City, the local daily has given up downtown digs for an office park in suburban Williston.

While staffers have been working remotely since the pandemic began in March 2020, executive editor Emilie Stigliani said several members of the 12-person newsroom gathered on Thursday for the first time at the new location. The circulation department also works out of the space.

She noted that most of the newsroom will continue to work remotely, though staffers can go to the office.

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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Media Note: Fair Game Columnist Mark Johnson Departs Seven Days

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 1:45 PM

Mark Johnson, left, interviews then-governor Peter Shumlin at the Statehouse in 2015. - FILE: PAUL HEINTZ
  • File: Paul Heintz
  • Mark Johnson, left, interviews then-governor Peter Shumlin at the Statehouse in 2015.
Seven Days columnist Mark Johnson is leaving the newspaper.

A veteran journalist and broadcaster, Johnson took over Seven Days' weekly political column, Fair Game, in June after its previous writer, Dave Gram, retired because of health issues.

Johnson wrote 14 columns during his short tenure, covering a wide range of topics, from water quality to broadband expansion. In one, he took a stab at answering the perpetual question of whether Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt). will run again.

Johnson's most recent column — published Wednesday — will be his last. In an email, he said the demands of producing a quality column each week "requires more bandwidth than I can sustain."

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Monday, June 28, 2021

Media Note: Ahead of Merger, Vermont Public Radio's Van Hoesen Retires

Posted By on Mon, Jun 28, 2021 at 9:32 PM

  • Courtesy of John Van Hoesen
  • John Van Hoesen
John Van Hoesen, a senior vice president and chief content officer at Vermont Public Radio, announced his retirement on Monday, just days before the station is due to merge with Vermont PBS.

Van Hoesen joined VPR in 2001 as news director. He said in an announcement he posted on LinkedIn that his most recent role has been helping VPR and PBS establish their new mission for the combined organization. VPR did not put out a statement about Van Hoesen’s retirement.

VPR and PBS announced in September their plan to merge. The stations haven’t publicly released much information about programming or operational changes expected from the merger, apart from a blog by VPR President Scott Finn in March that said the new entity will be more inclusive and more reflective of all of the people in the region, including those from diverse backgrounds. Finn said then that it will prioritize coverage of education and will expand journalism coverage. The new entity will be legally incorporated as Vermont Public.

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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Storied Vermont Newspaper Publisher Dickey Drysdale Dies

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2021 at 6:45 PM

M. Dickey Drysdale - FILE: DIRK VAN SUSTEREN
  • File: Dirk Van Susteren
  • M. Dickey Drysdale
M. Dickey Drysdale, the longtime newspaper publisher, editor and writer whose keen observations promoted civic pride and kept people informed in Randolph, died on Wednesday, the White River Valley Herald reported. He was 76.

Drysdale passed away in the company of his wife Marjorie and his sons Robin and Jamie, the paper noted, adding that a full obituary would appear in the next issue.

"He was a really avid newsman, but he was also a really intent member of the community," said the paper's publisher, Tim Calabro.

Calabro was a photographer when, in 2015, he purchased the then-140-year-old paper from Drysdale. At the time of the purchase, the paper was called the Herald of Randolph.

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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Cannabis Organization Heady Vermont Is on Hiatus

Posted By on Thu, Mar 4, 2021 at 11:00 AM

Heady Vermont sponsored a party in Johnson in 2018 to mark Vermont's legalization of marijuana use. - FILE: SARA TABIN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • File: Sara Tabin ©️ Seven Days
  • Heady Vermont sponsored a party in Johnson in 2018 to mark Vermont's legalization of marijuana use.

Heady Vermont, the cannabis industry group that expanded in 2019 into a new 3,000-square-foot headquarters in Burlington, is on an indefinite hiatus, said founder Monica Donovan.

Donovan said that no events or publications are planned, and she doesn't know if she'll continue with Heady. "I’d love to, but won’t know positively for a while," she said by text on Wednesday.

The 5-year-old membership organization published a weekly "News Roll Up" and organized events for businesses and consumers, including an annual trade show at the Champlain Valley Expo. At its peak last year, it had an all-female staff of six. But the pressures of the pandemic shutdowns were too much for Heady, said Kathryn Blume, the former communications director, who left last summer as work dwindled.

“Events were one of our primary income streams, and if you can’t have events, that makes things really hard,” said Blume, who now works in communications for NurseGrown Organics CBD in Underhill. “Also, the fact that it took so long to get the tax-and-regulate bill passed meant that a lot of businesses who would have been business partners for us were on hold as well, and then the financial uncertainty of the pandemic was, I think, a perfect storm.”

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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Media Note: VPR Announces New 'Vermont Edition' Cohosts

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 4:11 PM

Mikaela Lefrak and Connor Cyrus - VPR
  • VPR
  • Mikaela Lefrak and Connor Cyrus
Vermont Public Radio announced Thursday it has hired two journalists to replace longtime "Vermont Edition" host Jane Lindholm.

Connor Cyrus and Mikaela Lefrak will become cohosts and senior producers of the popular news program, the Colchester-based station said.

Cyrus is a morning reporter at WJAR-TV in Providence, R.I. A graduate of Lyndon State College, he previously worked at WCAX Channel 3 and radio stations in Plattsburgh, N.Y., and Presque Isle, Maine. 

“One of the reasons I became a journalist was for opportunities like this one: the chance to make a difference and guide the conversations on the important topics in Vermont," Cyrus said in a statement. "And I’m thrilled to be returning to Vermont for everything the state has to offer.”

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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Media Note: Paul Heintz Departs Seven Days to Lead VTDigger Newsroom

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2020 at 8:04 PM

  • Matthew Thorsen ©️ Seven Days
  • Paul Heintz
Seven Days reporter Paul Heintz is leaving the newspaper to become the managing editor at, the competing news organizations announced Wednesday evening.

"We’re surprised and very sorry to see him go," Seven Days publisher Paula Routly wrote in an email to staff. "But we congratulate him on this new chapter in his journalism career and look forward to competing with him."

Heintz, a Dartmouth College graduate, has worked at Seven Days since 2012, including stints as political editor, Fair Game columnist and most recently as a staff writer.

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