BURLINGTON – Citing rising print costs and a slow-down in advertising revenue, local Vermont newspaper Seven Days has reduced its coverage and will be re-branding for 2019 as Five and a Half Days. Despite the lower budget and new name, the publication insists that readers will hardly notice a difference.
“We took a hard look at Vermont, and we realized something eye-opening,” said Paula Routly, who is listed on the Seven Days website as the Co-Owner, Founder, Publisher, Co-Editor, Senior Staff Writer, Mail Clerk, Co-Proofreader, Safety Committe Chair, and Co-Photographer of the publication. “Stuff is not always happening here. We’ve been trying to cover seven days worth of news each week, but there are so many hours when people are literally just sleeping.”
Routly points to certain hours, such as Tuesdays from 3-5:30 AM and Saturdays from 4:15-4:45 AM, that will no longer be covered by the newspaper, totalling 36 non-covered hours going forward.
“I know that we are taking a risk,” Routly said, “and if something does happen at 11:48 PM on a Wednesday, I will take full responsibility for that fact that our offices will be closed at that time. But when you look at the overall data, this move really makes sense. If news is going to survive into the future we’re going to have to look at new and innovative ways to do what we do with the resources available to us.”
Five and a Half Days will be available for free to Chittenden County residents starting in January, and will include in-depth reporting and coverage of 132 of the Vermont hours in each week.