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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

John Van Hoesen - COURTESY OF JOHN VAN HOESEN
  • 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
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

Paul Heintz - MATTHEW THORSEN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Matthew Thorsen ©️ Seven Days
  • Paul Heintz
Seven Days reporter Paul Heintz is leaving the newspaper to become the managing editor at VTDigger.org, 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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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Media Note: Veteran Journalist Dave Gram to Revive Seven Days' Fair Game Column

Posted By on Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Dave Gram - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Dave Gram
Longtime Vermont journalist Dave Gram will revive Seven Days' weekly political column, Fair Game, in 2021.

Gram spent more than 30 years covering Vermont for the Associated Press and VTDigger.org. He most recently hosted "The Dave Gram Show," a two-hour daily talk program on WDEV Radio.

He was let go from that gig last month after station managers deemed him too opinionated on air — an assessment Gram linked to his personal criticism of President Donald Trump. Gram will have more freedom to opine in Fair Game, which has traditionally been a deeply reported hybrid of news and opinion.

“Here’s hoping I’ll be able to pull back a few layers of the proverbial onion as we grapple with the politics and economics of emerging from the pandemic and the Trump era,” he said. “I’m excited, grateful and humbled at the opportunity to join the team.”

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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Media Note: VTDigger Announces Staff Departures

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2020 at 12:19 AM

VTDigger.org founder and editor Anne Galloway - FILE: JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • FILE: JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR ©️ Seven Days
  • VTDigger.org founder and editor Anne Galloway
Online news site VTDigger.org announced the departures of two employees Tuesday — longtime political columnist Jon Margolis and managing editor Colin Meyn.

Veteran journalist Margolis penned his final column Tuesday. He explained that he recently turned 80, and it struck him as “unseemly” for someone his age to be a political analyst in today’s climate.

“Such work is better suited for younger people who are more energetic and less jaded, people who have more to learn because they know less,” Margolis wrote.

In an interview with Seven Days, Margolis, a former political reporter for the Chicago Tribune, said his decade-long stint as a columnist for VTDigger was one of the most enjoyable of his career. But the switch to remote legislating made tracking down news tips tougher, while insightful pieces by VTDigger’s young Statehouse reporters made his political analysis redundant, he said.

“I’m going to miss the collegiality, I’m going to miss the challenge, and I’m going to miss being able to vent my spleen once a week,” Margolis said.

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Monday, November 9, 2020

Media Note: WDEV Cancels Dave Gram's Talk Show

Posted By on Mon, Nov 9, 2020 at 11:50 AM

Dave Gram - COURTESY OF DAVE GRAM
  • Courtesy of Dave Gram
  • Dave Gram
WDEV Radio has canceled its daily morning program "The Dave Gram Show" and fired its host, saying he was too opinionated on air.

Gram, a veteran journalist, claims station managers took issue with his criticisms of outgoing President Donald Trump. He was told of the show's immediate cancellation on Friday afternoon.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Media Note: Lindholm to Leave ‘Vermont Edition’ for New Role at VPR

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2020 at 4:02 PM

Jane Lindholm (left) and producer Melody Bodette - JAMES BUCK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • James Buck ©️ Seven Days
  • Jane Lindholm (left) and producer Melody Bodette
For nearly 14 years, Vermont Public Radio’s Jane Lindholm has asked probing questions of her guests on seemingly every topic imaginable. Now, the “Vermont Edition” host is preparing for a new role at the station — and VPR is pondering how to revamp its midday public affairs program.

The station announced Tuesday that Lindholm plans to leave the show at the end of January, following a national search for her replacement. Bob Kinzel, who typically hosts the show once a week, will continue to do so, according to news director Sarah Ashworth.

Lindholm expects to spend much of her time expanding "But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids," which she created in 2016. Melody Bodette, a VPR veteran who has produced the show on a part-time basis, will become a full-time senior producer. The two will also team up to produce special projects for the station, including documentaries and live events.

"Fourteen years is a long time to do anything, so I'm ready for some new creative challenges," Lindholm said Tuesday. "Also, it's really hard to juggle two shows that are both competing for attention and both deserve attention."

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Media Note: Local Couple Sells Williston Observer to Local Couple

Posted By on Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 6:11 PM

The latest issue of the Williston Observer - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • The latest issue of the Williston Observer
The Williston Observer has new owners for the first time in more than two decades.

Williston residents Susan and Rick Cote purchased the Observer earlier this month from Marianne and Paul Apfelbaum, who bought the weekly paper from its founding ownership group back in 1994.

The paper, which is mailed for free to every home and business in town, announced the sale in a page-two story on Thursday that quoted Marianne Apfelbaum as saying that she and her husband had been hoping to sell the paper to locals.

"I think people are going to be very happy with a smooth transition of the paper to new owners who are equally as committed to community journalism and serving the community as we are," Marianne Apfelbaum told the paper. She could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

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