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Gazette announces new publisher

  • The Daily Hampshire Gazette GAZETTE FILE PHOTO



Staff Writer
Monday, January 25, 2021

NORTHAMPTON — In the latest change for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, publisher Michael Moses is stepping down from the newspaper, and Shawn Palmer, who has a deep background in newspapers in Connecticut, has been named publisher of the Gazette, the Greenfield Recorder and Athol Daily News.

Palmer, who most recently worked at The Day in New London, Connecticut as chief revenue officer and is a past president of the Connecticut Daily Newspapers Association, will start in his new position Monday.

Aaron Julien, president and CEO of the Gazette’s parent company, Newspapers of New England (NNE), said he met Palmer when the new publisher worked at the Record-Journal in Meriden, Connecticut and was impressed with his work. Julien said he hoped the two might eventually work together.

“He’s smart, practical and an incredibly decent person, respected by everyone he’s ever worked with, and someone who cares deeply about community newspapers and the critical role they play,” Julien said in a statement.

Palmer, 53, is married with three children and has spent his entire career in newspapers, primarily in Connecticut. In addition to his stint at The Day, he served as publisher of The NewsTimes in Danbury, Connecticut, and he has also worked as a sales representative and served in positions overseeing revenue and digital advertising.

In his new role as Massachusetts publisher for NNE, he will oversee all parts of the operation, including the digital and print publications of the Gazette, Recorder, Athol Daily News, Amherst Bulletin and Valley Advocate.

“I am incredibly honored to assume the leadership of these historic American daily newspapers,” Palmer said in a statement. “For more than 200 years, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Greenfield Recorder and, more recently, the Athol Daily News, have been vital institutions in the Pioneer Valley.

“We will focus our efforts on strengthening the relationship between our publications and the communities we serve,” he said. “To our readers, advertisers and community leaders, I look forward to meeting and working with you.”

Palmer takes the helm at a difficult time, as the pandemic and other factors have led to a significant decline in advertising revenue at the Gazette. In the last week of December, eight employees, including Editor-in-Chief Brooke Hauser, were laid off or took voluntary buyouts.

Those staff reductions followed the shuttering last summer of the Gazette’s printing press and the closing of the distribution department, resulting in the loss of close to 30 full- and part-time employees.

Joan Livingston, a former Gazette editor who had been editor-in-chief of the Recorder for almost two years, is now serving in the newly created position of editor-in-chief for the Pioneer Valley.

For his part, Moses, who became the publisher and chief revenue officer of NNE’s Massachusetts operations in May 2019, said that after 30 years in the newspaper business, he felt it was time for him to move on.

“I’ve taken the operation through a critical period of transition and put it on a solid footing for the future,” Moses said in a statement. “It’s a good time to transfer the reins to the next publisher.”

Moses, whom Julien thanked for leading the Gazette during challenging economic times, also thanked the staff at the newspapers he’s overseen.

“The Gazette, Recorder and Athol Daily News are wonderful newspapers that I’ve been proud to lead,” Moses said. “I wish the employees only the best, and I thank Newspapers of New England for the opportunity to lead these great papers.”

Steve Pfarrer can be reached at spfarrer@gazettenet.com.