Sunday, August 16, 2009

Several news outlets, new and old, plant stakes in N.H. town that recently lost its daily newspaper

The Claremont Eagle Times newspaper is dead. Long live the newspapers and other news media that want a piece of Claremont, N.H., a town of 15,000 on the Connecticut River that forms the border with Vermont. Johnny Diaz and Jenn Abelson of The Boston Globe bring us up to date on the news business in Claremont, where the independently owned Eagle Times, circulation 8,000, closed abruptly last month:

"The Claremont City Post, an eight-page paper that has published every two weeks for the past five months, hopes to become a weekly. ... The Valley News, based in Lebanon, N.H., added a reporter to cover Claremont and plans to expand sports, business, obituary, and the calendar section to include Claremont ... The Union Leader in Manchester, N.H., reassigned a correspondent to cover Claremont. The Rutland Herald in Vermont said it is planning to add at least one stringer to beef up coverage of Springfield, which borders Claremont. And WCAX-TV, a CBS affiliate in Vermont, is also evaluating similar options."

But that's just old media. "Several newcomers have also emerged," the Globe reports, including the weekly Claremont Compass, started by a co-owner of Manchester's HippoPress weekly, who got a good response at a Chamber of Commerce meeting; and a Claremont native in Virginia has started a Web site,, and says she's looking to hire a reporter to buttress the citizen journalists now contributing. It's testimony to the strong demand for local news, one reason we think closings like that of the Eagle Times won't be that common.

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