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A Letter From The Publisher


Published March 25, 2020 at 2:40 p.m.
Updated May 26, 2020 at 11:05 p.m.

Paula Routly "visiting" with her mother, Angie, at the Converse Home. Also pictured: Sue Haman - COURTESY OF SUZIE MCCOY
  • Paula Routly "visiting" with her mother, Angie, at the Converse Home. Also pictured: Sue Haman

The coronavirus pandemic has upended all of our lives.

This week's Seven Days shares glimpses into how Vermonters are coping and adapting. I contributed a vignette about Burlington’s Converse Home. That’s the back of my head in the photo above, visiting with my 93-year-old mom through a window. Thanks to cellphones, we could actually have a conversation. It’s heartbreaking but comforting to know she is as safe as can be.

[jump] Meanwhile, in the last week at Seven Days:

  • We launched Good To-Go Vermont, an online directory of local restaurants offering takeout, delivery and curbside pickup — just hours after Gov. Phil Scott banned table service at restaurants and bars. Find it at goodtogovermont.com.
  • Between the last two print issues, the editorial team published 40 stories, mostly about the pandemic, online. We created a coronavirus-specific newsletter — it has a whopping 73 percent open rate — for those who don’t want to miss any of that content.
  • Our circulation team is adjusting routes and delivering papers armed with latex gloves, hand sanitizer and the latest protocols from the Vermont Department of Health. Looking for a copy of Seven Days? Find an updated list of pickup points at sevendaysvt.com/delivery. Even with a stay-at-home order in place, Seven Days will continue to be printed and delivered. It’s good to know that trusted journalism is considered an essential public service.
  • We found creative ways to help our advertisers tweak and deliver their messages on all of our platforms, including print. Look for a “native” campaign next week, focused on how local retailers are finding ways to get by.
  • We shrank the page count of the paper, eliminating the events calendar and most of the listings to reflect the fact that venues are closed. That includes local movie theaters, so, after this week, film reviews will be temporarily discontinued.
  • Eva Sollberger crowdsourced videos from those staying at home. Watch her new Stuck in Vermont episode on Thursday at sevendaysvt.com/stuckinvt, or Friday on WCAX-TV.
  • Our entire company, like so many others, pivoted virtually overnight to working remotely, holding conference calls and online meetings.
  • Many of us, including our entire leadership team, took significant pay cuts so that Seven Days can continue to keep Vermonters informed and our colleagues employed. Despite those cuts, on Monday we were forced to lay off seven staff members, one from every department — temporarily, we hope.
What keeps us going through this terrible time? You, our readers. We know you are depending on our journalism.

And all of us have been deeply moved by your voluntary subscriptions and donations. In the last week, the number of Seven Days Super Readers has more than doubled, to 700-plus. If you appreciate our work and can afford to help pay for it, please contribute at sevendaysvt.com/super-readers, or call 865-1020, ext. 36.

Supporting local businesses is the best way to ensure the return of the community we all love. You can’t get that on Amazon. Where you spend your money matters, now more than ever.

With appreciation and resolve,
Paula Routly