By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The Berkshire Eagle celebrates eight years of local ownership

“Pittsfield in the near Future.” Photo of 1906 postcard (cc) 2010 by Steve Shook.

The Berkshire Eagle of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is celebrating its eighth anniversary as a locally owned independent newspaper. In 2016, a group of business people and community leaders rescued the Eagle from the hedge fund Alden Global Capital and began restoring it. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when the Eagle was regarded as one of the best small dailies in the country. I can’t say for sure how it stacks up these days, but given the dismal state of the news business overall it may very well deserve that appellation once again.

Publisher Fredric Rutberg writes:

Today, more people read The Eagle than in 2016. Indeed, paid subscriptions are up by more than 20 percent in that time period and paid circulation is up 5 percent. I use the term “paid” for several reasons: We have to sell our publications to survive and increased sales is a powerful vote of confidence in the quality of our publications, while having more readers affirms the value of advertising which remains our primary source of revenue.

Like a number of other for-profit newsrooms, ranging from The Provincetown Independent to Iowa’s Storm Lake Times-Pilot, the Eagle now works with a nonprofit arm — in this case the Local Journalism Fund — which can receive tax-deductible contributions to support certain types of public interest journalism. For the Eagle, that means more coverage of education, health, economic development and the arts. Read more about how the Eagle makes it work.

Leave a comment | Read comments

Discover more from Media Nation

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.


How our shameful public records law is affecting the Karen Read murder trial


A Nebraska weekly is saved, and Ellen Clegg offers her advice and perspective

1 Comment

  1. J

    Any news org that escaped Alden Global is a for-real operation. Kudos for being proactive.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén