Many thanks to all for your signatures on the petition to restore funding to the Andover Towmsman, and for the emails you sent to the corporate offices of Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc and to the Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company. We are happy to report that our collective voices were heard.
On Friday, Eagle-Tribune Publisher Al Getler met with Alex Vispoli, Paula Colby-Clements and Annie Gilbert and committed to moving former news reporter Dustin Luca back to the Andover Townsman to work with Editor Neil Fater and part-time reporter Judy Wakefield. Again, THANK YOU for your advocacy.
While we are pleased that the original plan has been altered and that a reporter has been restored to the Townsman staff, we view this as a short-term solution. Mr. Getler made it clear that, while he altered the plan for re-organization by moving Dustin Luca back to Andover, Community Newspaper Holdings has not increased funding to the Eagle Tribune Publishing Company. In the long run, we recognize that the Townsman needs additional resources and new models of business to be sustainable as a meaningful local newspaper, and we are committed to doing whatever we can to assist in making this a reality.
Meanwhile, we will keep the petition open until November 30th, as originally planned, before sending it to the appropriate corporate offices. If you have not yet signed it, please do so! Extra signatures will contribute to a greater impact.
When it comes to keeping the citizenry informed, nothing comes close to the Andover Townsman in terms of the audience it reaches, the amount of discourse it stimulates, and the level of accountability it demands from town leaders. The reductions Community Newspaper Holdings have made will mean the local news stories we all rely on will be replaced by general content that runs in multiple papers and is not specific to Andover.
Please restore funding for the Andover Townsman.