"His wife, with whom he bought the paper and who served as co-publisher, died after a prolonged fight with cancer in 2011," Mele writes. "Their only child, a son, pursued a career in wildlife conservation," and Connelly couldn't find a buyer for the paper, which grossed $240,000 last year and has no liens or mortgage.
"The Gazette serves in delivering news and information to Hardwick, which is about 60 miles east of Burlington, Vt., and nine other towns in northeastern Vermont that are mostly rural and agricultural, with pockets of poverty," Mele reports. It has no online edition, "two full-time employees, including Connelly, three part-time workers and a corps of correspondents. . . . The contest winner would get the newspaper’s building (a second story that once housed an apartment where Connelly and his wife lived is now office space), its furniture and fixtures and all the materials needed to run the business." The entry fee is $175. Connelly said he is looking for at least 700 submissions, which would meant a potential net of $122,500, about half the annual gross revenue. Many small, rural weeklies sell for the annual gross or slightly more.