Eagle Times Accepts Controversial State-Backed Loan!\
Sorry, couldn't resist the headline exclamation points, but are you getting a little confused with all the weekly papers coming out? So are we. But the field is already starting to thin out.
The local new newspaper wars, following the bankruptcy of Eagle Publications in July, have started taking their toll, as expected.
A couple of week's ago The Weekly Clarion, which always seemed the most precariously situated of the lot of new startups, became a part of The Compass.
The Compass is a Hippo Press publication and one of the more attractive of the new offerings, as might be expected from Hippo. That was especially true in the early editons, which featured Jesse Baker's excellent photographs. Baker is no longer with The Compass, so we'll see how that affects the paper's look.
A lot of the papers started up on a shoe-string budget, and I know more than one writer, editor or photographer who was working, as one told me, essentially for beer money. While beer money is important, that can wear thin after a while, and you can't keep a paper going for long if your staff isn't making enough money to pay their bills. As writers, we're usually a very committed, passionate group, but we still have to eat.
Last week The Villager, another new start-up, Claremont, NH-based weekly, also closed its doors, and it will probably not be the last one to do so.
On top of that, this is the week that Eagle Printing and Publishing, the entity created by the Sample News Group of Pennsylvania when they bought the Eagle Times out of bankruptcy, says they will resume publication under the old Message for the Week banner, though with an entirely new editoral staff.
All the former staff of The Message is here at the Green Mountain Outlook!