LETTER: Albert Sylvia Discusses The Sale Of The Lynnfield Villager
Former editor and publisher of local newspaper talks about recent changes.
Numerous people have asked me and my wife Chris why “we sold The Villager” several weeks ago. Be assured we did not sell the paper but instead my labor of love was the victim of a hostile takeover and subsequent sale. It is gratifying for us to hear from people who know us and that their reactions to the news range from surprise to sadness that their town newspaper was sold.
Yes the paper was my life and who I was but more importantly it was a service to our community and its residents. This turn of events was, neither by my choice, nor my doing and not necessitated by any alleged impending demise of the publication.
If there was a community event chances are I was there, camera in hand, covering the event and those involved for publication in the next edition. In short with the help of an able and dedicated staff no one covered Lynnfield like The Villager and God knows I’ll miss it and the interaction with fellow residents greatly.
In 1973 my father and I started The Lynnfield Villager as an expansion of The North Reading Transcript, which he founded in 1956. Shortly thereafter I moved to Lynnfield and The Villager became my baby. As a resident of the town for nearly 40 years I became committed to my life as “The Villager Guy.” The Villager has grown to be the best read paper in town and the only truly local paper operated by local residents using only Lynnfield news content with a certain future despite this trying economic times crippling larger publications.
This year we were the victim of a hostile takeover and subsequent sale of the paper. Unfortunately my efforts to purchase the paper and resume control of the publication were rebuffed.
One positive note from my perspective is the The Villager will still be the only publication operated by Lynnfield residents, the Dolbeare family, owners of The Wakefield Daily Item. There is every hope that the paper will retain its local focus and commitment to local news coverage under the new owner. It is important to note that The Item did not have a hand in the takeover of the paper and I wish them good luck.
On behalf of the employees, my wife Chris and the scores of local of local residents who have contributed their efforts to The Villager over the years I regret this turn of events. We will miss our weekly labor of love and we thank our advertisers and subscribers for their loyal support over these past 40 years.
Former Editor and Publisher
Albert E. Sylvia, Jr.