To our readers: The Bennington Banner and our commitment to you

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Dear Reader:

This is the first edition of the Bennington Banner that has been published by local owners in more than 20 years. About 10 days ago, I announced that on May 2 a group of local investors, including myself, were about to purchase New England Newspapers Inc., the company that owns this newspaper. The sale was completed on Monday, as planned.

As the weeks and months go by, you will get to know more about the three other men who purchased your local newspaper. For the time being, be assured that they are men of talent, commitment and enormous accomplishment whose successes have not robbed them of their humility. You may know a bit of my history as it has been chronicled in these pages previously.

The goal is to make the Banner a part of the finest community newspaper group in America. Our business plan is simple. By improving the quality and quantity of the content in our publications, we expect to increase our readership which will, in turn, increase our revenues, and ensure the future of these publications.

For today, you may wish to know, and have every right to know, the guiding principles to which we are committed. As president of the company that publishes your newspaper, I will try to summarize them.

To our readers, we will report the news accurately without fear or favor. Our opinions will be reasoned and stated clearly. We will be responsive to, and cover, the entire community, subject to the obvious limitations of time and resources. The news and views we publish will be lively and engaging; we will not brook sensationalism. We will deliver our product on time and at a fair price.

To our advertisers, we will spread your messages effectively and efficiently throughout the community by developing marketing tools designed with local consumers in mind. By strengthening our publications, we hope to increase the audience you will reach and enhance the results you obtain.

To our staff and management, we pledge our loyal and consistent support. We will provide you with the tools and assistance to allow you to reach the highest level of professional achievement possible.

Personally, I am flushed with pride to have been a part of returning this great institution to local ownership; at the same time, I remain awed by the responsibility that comes with leading such an important organization. While my colleagues and I have purchased the company in the legal sense, we know that the newspapers really belong to their readers and the communities they serve. We are stewards of your hopes and inspirations and those of future generations. This is a duty we accept eagerly, as we strive to make you as proud of your newspaper as you are of Bennington County.

At various meetings over the past week, I have said that if you see something in the paper — or online — that you like, please tell all of your friends. If you see something you don't like, please tell me. My email address is president@berkshireeagle.com. It's all right to tell me the good things, too.

— Fredric D. Rutberg, president of the

Bennington Banner


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