Thursday's edition of the Waterbury Record will be its last.
In a front-page story announcing its own demise, the weekly newspaper explained that the coronavirus pandemic had "accelerated what we hoped would never happen."
"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.
In an email to Seven Days on Thursday morning, Popa declined to comment. It was not immediately clear whether the group's other newspapers — the StoweReporter, News & Citizen of Morrisville, Shelburne News, the Other Paper of South Burlington, and Citizen of Charlotte and Hinesburg — would be affected.
Some copies of Thursday's Record reached homes in the area early, and an image of the front page was posted on social media late Wednesday.
Popa was quoted as saying that the Record, which had a circulation of 4,500, never attracted "widespread advertising support essential to any newspaper's survival."
Newspapers in Vermont and around the country have been hammered by the economic fallout of the pandemic. In the past two weeks, the MiltonIndependent, Essex Reporter and Colchester Sunsuspended their print editions; the Addison County Independent, Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argusreduced 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.
The final edition of the Record featured a front-page photograph of a deserted downtown Waterbury in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.