Former Eagle-Tribune Publisher Now Head of Vermont Paper

Former Eagle-Tribune Publisher Al Getler last week landed the top job at the Burlington (Vt.) Free Press newspaper.

Getler is the new publisher and president of the 188-year-old daily newspaper. The newspaper began in 1827 as the Free Press Weekly.

“Al is a proven leader and outside-the-box thinker who has consistently increased revenues and profits,” said Michael G. Kane, East Group president, Gannett U.S. Community Publishing. “Al has a wide range of experiences within the business and his people skills and relationship building will not only be a great asset for The Burlington Free Press but for the community as well.”

For the first time since 1821, the Haverhill Gazette no longer had a Haverhill-based presence.

During his time as group publisher of the North of Boston Media Group from March, 2007, to March, 2013, Getler oversaw The Eagle-Tribune as well as the creation and management of several magazines and digital properties. He oversaw the closing of the Eagle-Tribune/Haverhill Gazette office in downtown Haverhill in 2012. After 191 years, the Haverhill Gazette no longer had a physical presence in Haverhill. Prior to that role, Getler served as president and publisher of The Daily Star and Cooperstown Crier in central New York. He was also vice president of readership for the Community Newspaper Company in Framingham.

Burlington Free Press, the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune and Haverhill Gazette are connected through common history. On Dec. 10, 1958, Newspapers of New England Inc. bought the outstanding capital stock of the Haverhill Gazette Co. for $835,200. The three largest shareholders were the Eagle-Tribune, Lowell Sun and J. Warren McClure of the Burlington Free Press. Altogether, there were 32 publishing interests.

Getler returns to Gannett where he spent nearly a decade with the Newspaper Network of Central Ohio, working in various marketing and circulation roles as well as publisher of The Advocate. Getler has also worked for The Record in Troy, N.Y., The Press of Atlantic City and the North Jersey Media Group. Getler attended William Paterson University. He is married with three daughters.

Last October, the northern Vermont newspaper announced reporters would have to reapply for their jobs. “With systemic changes in the media business in recent years including changes in approach, format and staff size, we are redefining journalism jobs for the future and our vibrant website, During the next several weeks, the staff will apply for these jobs with new expectations,” wrote Executive Editor Michael Townsend.