As everyone knows, when the Twin State Valley Media Network/Eagle Times went bankrupt in July, the former Message For The Week was one of the casualties.
However, one of the good things that came from the bad situation is that nearly all of The Message team stayed together and with help of Middlebury's New Market Press, a publisher of several independent Vermont weeklies, we were able to start The Messenger in just two months time after The Message had stopped publication.
We are also very proud to say that nearly all of our editorial and sales staff remains on board today.
When The Messenger hit the streets, it didn't seem as though the Message For The Week would resume publication. However, recently the bankrupt Eagle Times was purchased by a large Pennsylvania publishing company, The Sample Media Group.
They have now resumed publication of the Weekly Flea, The Eagle Times and now it appears, the possibility of the Message for the Week.
To that end, they have requested through a Pittsburgh-based lawyer that we desist from using the name The Messenger for our new paper, with the threat of legal action against us.
It seems they recognize that The Messenger, with 20,500 direct-mailed copies and another 5,000 dropped copies, has truly taken over the position as the most widely distributed and read weekly in Southern Vermont. This was due, not in a small part, because the same people who were creating The Message For The Week were now creating The Messenger.
They feel the similarity in the names will "create confusion and mistake" in the marketplace if The Message resumes publication at some point in the future.
When we created The Messenger, the name was registered with the State of Vermont and approved by the Secretary of State.
We also feel we've done quite well, in a very short period of time, in establishing our own very clear and distinct identity.