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NH/VT border sports reporter

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by big green wahoo, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. From JJobs:

    Company: The Valley News
    Position: Enterprising Sports Writer
    Location: White River Junction, Vermont
    Job Status: Full-time
    Salary: Negotiable
    Ad Expires: April 8, 2008
    Job ID: 890519
    Website: http://www.vnews.com

    The Valley News, a quality-conscious 17,000-circulation daily located in the beautiful upper Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont near Dartmouth College, seeks an enterprising sports writer. The job focuses on covering the outdoor, recreational and community sporting scene in a region packed with rivers, mountain trails and fitness enthusiasts. The beat also includes some coverage of high school sports and undertaking hard-hitting issues stories. While this is primarily a writing job, an interest in developing editing skills and familiarity with Quark are a plus. The ideal candidate will have at least two years’ professional experience. Send letter, resume, salary requirements and five clips by March 31 to Jeffrey Good, editor, Valley News, P.O. Box 877, White River Junction, VT. 05001.

    I can say a few things about this personally, given that I grew up in the region and have stayed in touch with the sports editor, Don Mahler.

    First, this has to be one of the best, if not the best, papers in the country for its size. Absolutely top-notch and it's recognized as such by bigger outfits. Real journalism, not the ``Johnny and Delores are the Butter Fair King and Queen'' stuff you might find elsewhere. Really good photos.

    Second, Don would be fantastic to work for. I don't think he'd mind the label of ``aging hippie'' and I say it with any and all positive associations. He's whip-smart, has decades of experience and has sent bushels of young reporters up the journalism ladder. He's very laid back but not to the point of don't give a damn.

    Salary likely to be mid-20s for a young'un, up to possibly mid-30s for a vet.

    Were things not different in my personal life, I'd be on this opening in a minute. The section covers some very good preps for the states' sizes and multiple programs are always winning state titles for the area. You will not, however, see more than the occasional minority athlete, or citizen, for that matter.

    Dartmouth College has I-AA football, low DI basketball and DI men's and women's hockey. There's a lot of intrigue and politics surrounding the college athletic department, but they've already got a reporter who covers that. I suppose moving over to it if he ever left would be an option.

    Living-wise, Hanover, where Dartmouth is located, will be impossible on your salary because it's gentrified and priced-up to the gills. But there are half a dozen other communities nearby that are fine and West Lebanon, where the office is located, has all the usual chain restaurants and big box stores, etc. You will chuckle over what the local call a traffic jam if you've ever lived in a major city.

    Weather is great if you truly like four seasons. It can be minus-20 for a week in winter and 90 degrees for a week in summer. But those are the extremes. If you're into any outdoors activities like hiking, mountain climbing, kayaking, chasing moose in the nude, there are few regions better for it.

    I would say the ideal candidate for this gig is either a hotshot right out of school and a good university paper or someone who's looking for a step up from the intro level or the one above it. Then again, if you're older and more experienced and don't care about significant night life or a big salary and like the outdoors, this could be great for you, too.

    PM me with any further questions, if my babbling didn't already cover the bases.
  2. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    If anyone wants any information about this area, feel free to PM me.
  3. bp6316

    bp6316 Member

    Spent a year up there back in 2002 and liked it enough. Mahler is a great guy to be sure. You're quite a ways from any towns of substance, so if you're a city folk, the rural lifestyle can get to you. Beautiful spring to fall also. Winter isn't much fun. But if you're from the Northeast and don't mind rural, it all works fine.

    And not that it matters, but the high school sports wasn't exactly the highest quality I'd ever seen. Good people to deal with though.

    Oh and the paper does do a lot of better journalism. Haven't seen it since 02, so can't speak to the design now, but it was a bit of a clunker back then.
  4. eek!gannett!

    eek!gannett! Guest

    define "towns of substance"
  5. Hanover is 10,000 when the 4,000 students are around. It has a quaint main street with expensive stores and two bar/restaurants. There is no fast food.

    West Lebanon and Lebanon... I'll guess are around 10,000 combined. The other towns around, like Hartford, White River Junction, Enfield are your basic small NE towns and look and feel like it.

    You're about 2.5 hours north of Boston, though it depends on how fast you drive and what traffic is. I'd guess four hours to Hartford, Conn., although someone can correct me there.

    Should you head north, I'd estimate Montreal is about four hours as well, if you're not delayed at the border.

    Bottom line: if you like going out and having a good time in a traditional sense, this ain't the job for you. If you're mellow and/or over that stage of life, it's a better bet.
  6. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    I came pretty close to landing on the Dartmouth beat for this paper a few years ago. I got the same impression of Don Mahler that Wahoo laid out -- aging hippy, laid-back, all-around nice guy. Also, the ME is Jeffrey Good, who I believe won a Pulitzer a few years ago but decided he wanted to move to the area, so he took over The Valley News. That probably has a good deal to do with the quality of journalism being produced there.

    The only drawback when I interviewed there was the pay, which wasn't terrible (I had one year out of school; they offered mid-20s), but didn't compare to the offer that came down the pike around the same time. I took the other job, with no regrets, but I always figured it would've been a lot of fun to cover Dartmouth and work with Don.

    Best of luck to those who apply.
  7. KP

    KP Active Member

    Someone get the X-man over here.
  8. Danny Noonan

    Danny Noonan Member

    +1. Years ago my wife had a job opp with Dartmouth-Hitchcock, so I basically walked in on a cold call and talked to this place about openings, which, as it turned out, they had some. Came away very impressed. They do a great job for their size. Hanover is a very, very cool town. We ended up going elsewhere because the money was better, but a great place to get started, I'd say. Both this paper and Keene have had some former stud journalists from bigger papers downsize to become editors, MEs, just write, etc., because they wanted to get out of the ratrace, and they'll teach you well.
  9. ServeItUp

    ServeItUp Active Member

    No kidding, KP. If this doesn't bring out 'Du, he's truly a man of his word.
  10. Twinkilling

    Twinkilling Guest

    I, too, am a Valley News alum. It's gotten me where I am today, for better or worse. Love this paper. Love Don Mahler. The pay was crap, but the benefits were good. Then. That was 2000-2002. Anyway. Nothing but good things to say here. Great starter paper. You'd be hard-pressed to do better.
  11. BertoltBrecht

    BertoltBrecht Member

    Any updates on this one?
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