Local News

Catherine Nelson leaves Rutland Herald

By Adam Federman, VTDigger.org
Catherine Nelson, publisher of the Rutland Herald, is leaving the company and retiring, according to an email sent to employees Monday, Sept. 12. The move comes in the middle of negotiations to sell the company, which includes the Times Argus, to Maine newspaper publishers Reade Brower and Chip Harris, co-founders of Upper Valley Press in New Hampshire.
In the email, Herald Editor-in-Chief Rob Mitchell said, “As part of this transition, Catherine Nelson has decided to leave the company and is retiring.”
Nelson could not be reached for comment.
Nelson joined the company in 2006 as publisher of the New England Business Journals, which the Herald acquired in 2003. She quickly rose up the company’s ranks. In 2007 Nelson was named vice president and general manager of the Herald and the Times Argus. She was later promoted to CEO, and earlier this year, publisher after the paper’s owner John Mitchell stepped down.
At the time she took over as publisher the paper was facing a number of challenges including a decline in circulation and ad revenue. According to a Herald story in December 2015 announcing Nelson’s appointment, circulation had declined from a peak of 25,000 several years ago to 11,800. In 2015 the Herald announced that it would no longer publish the monthly New England business journals.
In the 2015 story Nelson was quoted telling staff that the industry had experienced a difficult 10 years, “But just like the Rutland community, we have a renaissance, and we think we’re going in the right way.”
More recently the paper has cut back on its print edition from seven days a week to four. In the weeks before the sale to Brower and Harris was announced, the Herald ran its own story on financial issues at the paper and silence from upper management on what was happening. The publication of that story led to the firing of news editor Alan Keays. Days later it was announced that the paper would be sold.

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