Media Note: Two Vermont Reporters Announce Departures | Off Message

Media Note: Two Vermont Reporters Announce Departures


Galen Ettlin - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Galen Ettlin
Two well-known Vermont reporters are leaving their respective posts for new jobs.

WCAX-TV weeknight news anchor Galen Ettlin and Burlington Free Press multimedia journalist Ryan Mercer separately announced their departures in social media posts this week.

Ettlin, who has spent nearly two years with WCAX, told Seven Days that he has accepted an out-of-state journalism job, though he said he can't say where it is until next week. He said working in Vermont has been a "surreal experience," particularly given the access that media has to those holding the state's highest offices.

"I come from a very different place and have very different experiences," said Ettlin, an Oregon native. "I brought a lot of new ideas here. To have the support from viewers who have seen things a certain way a really long time ... that has meant the world to me."
Roger Garrity, WCAX's news director, called Ettlin "tremendously bright" and said he will be "missed by a lot of people."

The search for Ettlin's replacement has begun, Garrity said, and the station will consider both internal and external candidates.

Mercer, meanwhile, is leaving the Free Press for a communications position with the University of Vermont Health Network, where he will join two other recently converted journalists: former Vermont Press Bureau and WCAX reporter Neal Goswami and former reporter Mike Faher. 

Mercer joined the Free Press as a photojournalist 14 years ago. He has held several titles since then, including the all-encompassing "multimedia journalist." Mercer took on more writing as the paper's editorial staff shrank in recent years, and he often produced work that featured highly visual components, like a column last year that detailed his 2010 embed with the Vermont National Guard in Afghanistan. 

In a post on his personal Facebook announcing his departure, Mercer stressed that he was leaving of his own accord. He described his time with the paper as "amazing" but also "full of challenges that have faced media across every brand and format."

"I’ve been fortunate enough to make it through all of them to find myself where I am now, surrounded by an amazing team under the most sound leadership ... since I started," he wrote. "Which is why my decision to embrace a new opportunity was so hard to make."

Mercer did not respond to requests for comment, and the Free Press editorial team said no one was able to speak with Seven Days this week.