The Vermont Times, which in its latter years was known as the Times Sentinel, has officially ended its reign as a Chittenden County weekly.
The publication's owners — New Market Press — have folded the Times Sentinel and The Addison Eagle into one paper, called The Eagle. The weekly will be based in Addison County and will be mailed to about 14,000 homes in both counties, with another 1,000 copies dropped at stores in Chittenden County, according to an editorial in the inaugural issue.
"As daily newspapers in our region decline in circulation they have also increased their advertising rates, increased their per issue prices, and trimmed the size of their broadsheet format," said Lou Varricchio, managing editor of The Eagle. Not so, with The Eagle, he claims.
The news comes at a time when the daily Rocky Mountain News has been shuttered, and Hearst, which owns the San Francisco Chronicle and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is looking to sell or close both of those major dailies.
The Vermont Times news took me personally by surprise; I was its editor for five years. I hadn't seen the paper around much lately, which made me wonder if its owners were trimming circulation. It should also be noted that the founders of Seven Days once worked at Vermont Times and helped to create its spin-off arts-only weekly, VOX.
New Market bought the Vermont Times in 1995 from Nancy Wood and Nat Winthrop.
The Vermont Times was founded in the wake of the demise of theVanguard Press and the first iteration of Vermont Woman. A weekly newspaper that covered statewide topics and plenty of countywide politics and arts, it eventually pulled back and became much more of a "local" paper. A thinner version of the Burlington Free Press' Hometown mailer may be the best way to describe it.
The move is effective with this week's issue. You can check out an online version of the first edition here (Flash required).