The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 9, 2003


CNC buys Harvard Post and Bolton Common newspapers

In late April, it was announced that Herald Media Inc., owner of the Boston Herald and Community Newspaper Company (CNC), had purchased two local independent newspapers in our area - The Harvard Post and The Bolton Common, both owned by Kathleen Cushman of Harvard. CNC is also owner of the Concord Journal and more than 100 other publications including weeklies, dailies, shoppers and specialty papers.

This acquisition eliminates two more newspapers from a dwindling list of independent papers in the suburbs west of Boston. Now Harvard and Bolton will join neighboring Boxborough, Littleton, and Stow, where town newspapers operate under the auspices of CNC.

In the announcement in the Harvard Post of April 25, the president of Herald Media Inc., Patrick J. Purcell, is quoted as saying, "This is an important opportunity for growth. We look forward to building on the strength of these firmly established newspapers and expanding our coverage of local news in the suburbs of eastern Massachusetts."

In an attempt to learn more of the details of these acquisitions, we spoke with someone on the staff of the Bolton Common. It quickly became clear that he did not want to discuss the matter, especially if his remarks were to appear in print in our newspaper. With that, our phone conversation ended abruptly. However, after reading the front page story in each of the newspapers, one learns that after 30 years, owner Cushman has had changes in both her family and work commitments "which make it difficult for me to give the papers everything they need to thrive."

In a later discussion with a representative from the New England Press Association, it was noted that there is a trend all across the northeast for local newspapers to be taken over by a newspaper group or a chain.

Today the Mosquito remains one of the very few independent newspapers in the region. The paper relies on advertising revenues and donations from townspeople for its financing, and intends to maintain its independence.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito