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Vermont Daily News on Hiatus


The publisher of Vermont Daily News, a virtual daily newspaper, put the site "on hold" this month, and is unsure if it will relaunch in April.

Founded last July, Vermont Daily News aimed to compete with the region's daily media — the ranks of which have been thinning.

The online newspaper was the brainchild of longtime news photographer Alden Pellett (pictured) and a small group of supporters.

"I'm looking at a lot of options, from forging ahead with more risk through much bigger financing to pairing with an existing media outlet in some way. There's some exciting potential if any of it materializes," Pellett told Seven Days.

Whatever happens by April 1, Pellett added, VDN has grown in readership.

"The amazing thing is that traffic hasn't dropped off as much as I thought it might because people are still finding VDN," said Pellett.

"I have to give a lot of credit to people like photographer Shane Bufano and our ad rep Lisa Hoare who have helped a lot. I really hated to put it on hold but I felt it wasn't prudent to take on too much debt in this economy and the business side of things needed more focus," said Pellett.

Pellett believes the site is on the verge of "taking off"; it's only been nine months since its launch and advertising dollars for the site reached "an encouraging point" in January and February. Not so, March, he added.

"March ad sales dropped off abruptly though, most likely because I had no one who could devote time on a larger scale to selling ads when, at the same time, a few freelance writers failed to follow through," said Pellett. "So, who knows where it will be in nine more months ... in nine years? I do know this: it's not going away. Maybe we're just getting a second wind."

Photo credit: Matthew Thorsen.