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New owner of Manchester Newspapers commits to community journalism

New owner of Manchester Newspapers commits to community journalism

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GRANVILLE — The new owner of Manchester Newspapers said this week he intends to bring fresh ideas to marketing the paper’s content but will continue the community-based journalism the Manchester family has promoted for generations.

The company includes the Granville Sentinel, Whitehall Times, Hudson Falls Free Press, Lakes Region Free Press (which circulates in Vermont) and North Country Free Press (which circulates in southern Washington County).

“I firmly believe in community media,” said Mark Vinciguerra, president and publisher of Capital Region Independent Media.

At the same time, he will look at bringing “diversified marketing streams” to the papers, which could include events and shows, digital subscriptions and digital marketing services, he said.

“Anything and everything is possible,” said Vinciguerra, who earlier this year bought the Ravena News-Herald in Albany County and the Greenville Pioneer in Greene County.

Vinciguerra worked for about 20 years in newspaper circulation and sales, including in Syracuse, Hudson and Albany, before recently forming his company.

He started as a broadcast journalist in radio news and said he is committed to independent journalism.

“I don’t see my papers currently until it’s time to send the pages to the printer. You hire good people you trust — in this case, journalists. I am not going to dictate what we do and cover,” he said.

John Manchester described the sale as “bittersweet” but also “good timing.” He is staying on for a short transition period to help Vinciguerra get acclimated, he said.

“Our kids are all in the Washington area. None were interested in coming back and running the paper,” he said.

He and his wife, Lisa, co-owner of the business, will probably move south to be closer to their kids, he said.

The business is solid, despite the struggles of small and large newspapers nationwide, Manchester said.

The company puts out 40 specialty publications annually, such as home improvement guides and county fair and bridal supplements, and these do well financially and help keep the business going, he said.

His great-grandfather founded the Granville Sentinel in 1875 and the family has been running the company since then.

Vinciguerra touted the value of the nitty-gritty community journalism done by small papers and mentioned that, with digital distribution, “more people are reading our products than ever.”

“We just have to figure out how to monetize it,” he said.

Will Doolittle is projects editor at The Post-Star. He may be reached at will@poststar.com and followed on his blog, I think not, and on Twitter at @trafficstatic.

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Related to this story

A welcome sign to Granville, just a few miles from downtown. Manchester Newspapers, based in Granville, has been sold to a new owner.

The owners of the Copperfield Inn owed an estimated $742,000 in occupancy tax payments to Warren County before they sold the business in recent days. A settlement was reached for a portion of the debt as part of the sale process. 

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