Talk about economic recovery! New Hampshire welcomed back the Claremont Eagle Times. The newspaper shut the doors and laid everyone off in July 2009. The new owner is Sample News Group – a company that owns several local papers along the east coast. By my research, the two are perfect partners. Both entities fly very much under the radar. No website up yet. Sample News is using the slow roll-out model.

A Vermont TV station quoted publisher Harry Hartman as saying “Our belief is that a local paper, with hyper local coverage as we say, is going to be very successful in Claremont and we are looking forward to that.”

About 20 of the 62 staff laid off three months ago were hired back. Check out the WCAX video coverage about Monday’s work day as the front page headline declared: Your Daily Paper is Back.

Sample News is a family-run business based in Pennsylvania. The  founder, George “Scoop” Sample, and his wife published The Morning Times in Sayre, Pa., for 14 years before creating their media empire of dailies, weeklies, magazines and printing plants.

In 2008, Sample News bought that Sayre newspaper and another in New York according to an AP article. Scoop wasn’t the only person scooping up new titles. 2008 was an active year given economic pressures. By the third quarter, 16 papers worth a total of $883 million had been sold.

The Star wrote that Sample ‘had finely honed an efficiency model against which the papers were measured on the 15th of each month and which rested on the simple equation that, for each employee, the paper should draw $100,000 in advertising revenue annually.’ He passed away at 84 in the summer of 2008 but was remembered as a cost-cutter with a jolly personality.

The Eagle Times is jumping out of the blocks with 8,000 subscribers. Fly eagle fly.

-Sarah Evans.

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