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Understanding Major News Mergers And What They Mean For Vermont's News Media

A collection of front pages from the Burlington Free Press.
Matthew Smith
The "Burlington Free Press" will be under new ownership as two of the country's largest newspaper companies merge. We're talking about how the trends in the news and media business are being felt in Vermont.

America's two largest newspaper companies are merging, and after GateHouse Media'spurchase of Gannettis complete, the Burlington Free Press — and more than 260 other papers across the country — will have new owners.  We're talking about what the merger means for these papers and how the changes affecting the news and media industries are being felt in Vermont.

NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik has covered the GateHouse/Gannett merger, and joins Vermont Edition to discuss the newly-combined company and what a pledge of up to $300 million in expected savings from the consolidation could mean for affected papers and newsrooms.

We'll also talk with Emilie Stigliani, Burlington Free Press Executive Editor, about any changes at the Burlington paper and what the paper's newsroom and reporters will focus on moving forward.

Then we'll have a discussion about how broad changes in the news and media landscape are being felt in Vermont. Joining the discussion are:

  • Traci Griffith, associate professor at St. Michael’s College in the Department of Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts. She's also a former Associated Press editor and correspondent in Chicago and Washington, D.C.
  • Candace Page, a Burlington native who’s spent a lifetime working in newspapers in and outside Vermont, including 30 years at the Burlington Free Press.
  • Paul Heintz, staff writer and political editor for Seven Days, whose reporting on the sale (or planned sale) of 20 Vermont media outlets since 2016 was part of the paper’s recent media issue.

Broadcast on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
Matt Smith worked for Vermont Public from 2017 to 2023 as managing editor and senior producer of Vermont Edition.
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