The community newspaper for Waterbury published its last issue this week. Never profitable, it became entirely unsustainable when C-19 dried up virtually all advertising - the mother’s milk of free community newspapers. Even powerhouse Seven Days had to lay off seven staff - temporarily, it is hoped.
"Newspapers in Vermont and around the country have been hammered by the economic fallout of the pandemic. In the past two weeks, the Milton Independent, Essex Reporter and Colchester Sun suspended their print editions; the Addison County Independent, Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus reduced the frequency of their print editions; and Seven Days, the Valley News, Brattleboro Reformer, Bennington Banner, Manchester Journal, Herald and Times Argus announced layoffs or furloughs. "Clearly, this decision is precipitated by the coronavirus crisis, but it's also about economics," the story quoted publisher Greg Popa as saying. "The Record has never been profitable, but we were in this for the long haul." Though a newspaper with the same name was published from 1895 to 1947, the current incarnation was founded in 2007 by Biddle Duke, who then owned the Stowe Reporter. Since 2014, it has been held by a publishing group now called the Vermont Community Newspaper Group.
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