Media Note: The Burlington Free Press Moves to Williston | Off Message

Media Note: The Burlington Free Press Moves to Williston

By

The new office in Williston - COURTNEY LAMDIN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Courtney Lamdin ©️ Seven Days
  • The new office in Williston
The Burlington Free Press is no longer based in Burlington.

After nearly 200 years in the Queen City, the local daily has given up downtown digs for an office park in suburban Williston.

While staffers have been working remotely since the pandemic began in March 2020, executive editor Emilie Stigliani said several members of the 12-person newsroom gathered on Thursday for the first time at the new location. The circulation department also works out of the space.



She noted that most of the newsroom will continue to work remotely, though staffers can go to the office.

"It's really nice to actually all come together," Stigliani said. "Williston is a different beast, but I think we're all really happy to be together there."
100 Bank Street, pictured on Friday - COURTNEY LAMDIN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Courtney Lamdin ©️ Seven Days
  • 100 Bank Street, pictured on Friday
The circulation department moved there in December 2020. That's when parent company Gannett sold its 45,000-square-foot building on South Winooski Street that once housed the paper's printing press.

The paper has been printed in Portsmouth, N.H., since May 2020.

The editorial and advertising departments of the Free Press, which was founded in 1827, long worked out of College Street before moving in 2014 to Bank Street, adjacent to what would become the CityPlace Burlington site. But the paper's seventh-floor suite is now being renovated to become a spa.
The former Freeps' offices - COURTNEY LAMDIN ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Courtney Lamdin ©️ Seven Days
  • The former Freeps' offices
Stigliani said the paper gave up the space in late spring, though she encouraged Seven Days to contact corporate for more details on the move and the decisions behind it. A spokesperson did not immediately reply to emailed questions.

The Freeps had 11,000 square feet of space when it first moved to the seventh floor of 100 Bank Street, plus a 4,000-square-foot community room on the third floor, the paper reported in 2014.

The newsroom — and circulation — has shrunk since then. And Stigliani referred questions about the square footage of the new space to a corporate spokesperson. When Seven Days visited the new Williston space on Friday, the glass doors were locked, and a man who identified himself as the circulation manager declined to speak to a reporter. He referred questions to Stigliani.

"I think it's actually pretty great," Stigliani said of the move, noting that the paper has "a huge readership in the suburbs of Burlington." About half of the newsroom staff live in Burlington and the other half is in the Williston area, she said, "which speaks to where people are settling down."

"So I think it's a good thing to be in touch with those kinds of people," Stigliani said. "I've never spent this much time in Williston, but I'm kind of digging it."

Courtney Lamdin contributed reporting.