Duke told Heintz, "I was looking for not only a financial exit but also the right thing because I think newspapers need to continue to thrive. Bob and I and Norb have spent the last 14 or 15 months feeling each other out. We've become great friends. They're great partners, and it's been really great."
"I think I'd have reservations whether it was an in-state person or an out-of-state person," Duke said. "I'm filled with all kinds of emotions at the moment. I want these institutions to carry on and thrive. That's my main ambition."
In a column in the Stowe Reporter Duke wrote:
"We view ourselves as a training center. Many of our best employees are graduates of local high schools and colleges, so we are very much a part of the Vermont web of career success for young people interested in journalism, graphics, sales and, now, social media. It fills me with pride to think of former reporter Scott Monroe, now an editor of a group of daily newspapers in Maine; of former reporter Jesse Roman, a roving reporter for a national magazine based in Boston; of former editor Matt Kanner, now launching his own alternative newspaper in Portsmouth, N.H.
"But changing lives—or at least having a positive impact of some kind—is what it’s all about . . . The hardest thing about being a newspaper publisher or editor—and I’ve done both those jobs, in addition to salesperson, photographer and reporter—is that you can’t be friends with everyone. I seem to have pissed everyone off at one time or another, and it’s my experience that you just have to be OK with that.
"Whether that’s stood me well, I don’t know. In some cases, it has been like running out into traffic, but in most cases I have been able to explain why we do what we do the way we do it. Often my explanations are not enough. And in some cases, I have lost friends or made enemies of people I might have befriended. That’s a newspaper publisher’s cross to bear, at least one with any kind of ethical spine.
To read the entire column, click here.