The top editor at the Rutland Herald and Barre-MontpelierTimes Argus will have a new title on the masthead: publisher.
Sample News Group announced on Wednesday that Steve Pappas, 51, has been selected to lead the papers ahead of the impending departure of general manager Rob Mitchell, whose family previously owned and operated the papers for nearly 80 years.
Pappas will keep his executive editor title and oversee the daily operations of both newspapers as part of a four-person leadership team, he said. As publisher, Pappas plans to focus on both improving the papers' news content and “aggressively” building its sales force.
“We are convinced that communities want local journalism, and we’re blessed to have two newspapers that are integral to the communities that we serve,” Pappas said. “We feel that we are going to do everything that we can to make sure that we make ourselves indispensable to them.”
Pappas grew up around Barre and now lives in Plainfield. He worked in newspapers in New Hampshire and Maine before joining the Herald as managing editor in 2006.
His new gig comes after what had been a rocky few years for the papers, which the Mitchell family sold three years ago to a pair of out-of-state newspaper executives following reports of financial difficulties. The papers were sold again last year to the Sample News Group, a Pennsylvania-based company that operates more than 70 publications on the East Coast, including the Claremont, N.H.-based Eagle Times.