The Saint Albans Messenger will print two days a week starting later this month as it strengthens its content, adds more reporters and newsroom resources, and continues to grow its expanding digital audience.
The twice-weekly will pack two days of great local content, listings and community information into its Tuesday and Friday print editions. You can expect all of the things you have come to love about the Messenger plus a dozen new features in those editions.
Changes go into effect the week of Jan. 25 with the first edition appearing that Tuesday.
What the change means for you
This change will allow the Messenger newsroom to publish more timely updates to www.samessenger.com as well as its social media pages. Additionally, readers can join more than 5,000 email subscribers who have signed up to receive informative, engaging newsletters that are published each morning. As a subscriber, you have access to all of the Messenger’s content on any device.
In September of 2019, the paper invested in a new website and reader response and engagement was overwhelming, resulting in over a 400 percent gain in the Messenger’s digital audience, extending reach throughout Franklin County, something that benefits both our advertisers and readers.
Publisher Jim O’Rourke stressed that the paper is committing to improving its content during this transition by bringing on additional resources.
“We’re not only maintaining our editorial staffing with this publishing change, we’re adding positions and resources to increase local news coverage,” he said.
Cameron Paquette has recently assumed the editor position in St. Albans and Kate Barcellos has joined the paper as a reporter.
“We’re really excited about both of their skills and experience and the perspective they bring to our editorial team,” O’Rourke said.
The Messenger is currently recruiting for an additional reporter and expects to have someone hired in the next few weeks.
In addition to all of the new content and features the paper will be adding, the Messenger will be giving even more coverage and space to two of its most popular sections: Editorial and Sports.
Emerson Lynn, Editor Emeritus for the Messenger, will continue to write for the Editorial page and readers can also expect regular columns from Paquette. Lynn continues to be a local favorite for his direct Editorials that have spurred conversation and change in Vermont for decades.
Sports editor Ruthie Laroche and more than a half dozen regular contributors will continue to cover every angle of high school sports. In addition, Laroche will continue to produce outdoor adventures and profiles on local athletes in print, the website and social media pages.
“I’m fascinated by Ruthie’s energy and the breadth and depth of the sports coverage she has brought to the Messenger and Franklin County over the last 16 months,” O’Rourke said.
Why the change?
The Messenger is thriving but the media industry has been, and continues to be, majorly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need to take the appropriate steps to adjust our business model. Local news and information combined with meaningful journalism will always be front and center at the Messenger,” O’Rourke said. “This is a long-term play; we’re looking beyond tomorrow.”
Now, the Messenger will be able to bring that to you with two super-packed print editions on Tuesday and Friday/Weekend. These editions, combined with more engaging and more timely content published digitally, will give readers the breadth of information they need 24/7.
“We value our readers, local advertisers and the communities we support in Franklin County, and we thank you in advance for continuing to support journalism, local news and our team in St. Albans,” O’Rourke said.