Good News: No More Minuteman Papers In Your Driveway!

Finally, there’s a fail-safe solution to the scourge of Minuteman newspapers being dumped in Westport driveways — even after repeated requests to PLEASE STOP!!!!!

The publication has folded.

Hearst — which owns virtually every other print outlet in Fairfield County, including the Westport News — pulled the plug on the 23-year-old freebie this week.

You’d be forgiven for not noticing, though. The announcement was made, Orwellian-like, in a letter from the publisher inserted in yesterday’s edition.

It read:

Dear Readers: We have great news!

Beginning next week, we’ll be bringing you the best of local news, journalism, local school sports, and advertising information — right to your home.

Instead of the Minuteman publications you normally received on Thursdays, every Friday you can expect to receive the Westport News — a highly respected newspaper dedicated to your community.

Of course, there’s another reason you may not have noticed that announcement:

No one in history ever picked up the Minuteman, other than to toss it in the trash.


42 responses to “Good News: No More Minuteman Papers In Your Driveway!

  1. Different name, same unwanted trash thrown on my driveway

  2. One important reason to pull this last issue of the Minuteman out of the ditch and open it – it contains the 2017 Voters’ Guide insert for Westport! And if you can’t find a copy of the Minuteman, find the same guide online here:

  3. Good riddance!

  4. Good riddance!

  5. Chip Stephens SHS '73

    Not great news! Although both “local papers” have dissolved into Westport labeled out of town rags they at least gave us some outlet to information locally on their first 3 pages. As an elected person it is frustrating at election season not to have better coverage and a paper that someone actually reads to state ones views (platform) and to take the public input. Your blog is uber appreciated but you are not a political news disseminator and the other blog run by our former selectperson is quite slanted in political direction and censors opposing opinion and occasional comment.
    I miss the home grown Westport News that was 99% Westport news, sports and content in general but stuff changes.
    One last comment, thanks to state regulation, Westport spends 10s of thousands of dollars each year to post meetings and notices in the remaining papers (Wpt News, Minuteman and/or Norwalk Hr) not allowing internet positing that would be a better venue today and could provide needed income to services like your 06880.

  6. Ann Marie Flynn

    Will still have to bend and find the trash can….what happened to the expression “no news is good news”…

  7. “No one in history ever picked up the Minuteman, other than to toss it in the trash.” Not fair at all, Dan. When we first moved to Westport, the Minuteman was a vital publication. Harriet Hiller was Editor of the Good Living section and it was very important to the community and to the artists that benefitted from the publicity. Harriet was a force to be acknowledged and appreciated. Over the past few years, the arts and entertainment have received almost no coverage, to the detriment of Westport’s entertainment scene. The Minuteman did devolve over the past few years but let us not forget that it was once a very good source of news for Westporters.

  8. While I won’t defend the poor delivery system this past year or so — nor speculate on the author’s intense animosity toward it — I stand proudly by many, many strong, well-written pieces I’ve done for that papers over the years! While the paper fell victim to social & subsequent financial changes, as a publication it had the admirable nerve at times to publish more forthright coverage of some issues than any other local outlets ever had, including honest appraisals of the Westport Schools and, in particular, its last dysfunctional superintendent … So while I of course adore your blog, I agree with Chip that this is in actuality a loss to the town and a once-unfettered free press!

  9. Dan-we get our news and town information from 06880. You know that news source–it’s a good one.


  10. “No one in history ever picked up the Minuteman, other than to toss it in the trash.” ???? Please do not speak for all. I for one, enjoyed the “dumping” and did read it. I think the aspect of your “good riddance” opinion is sad and a loss to the town. Happy that the Westport News is still in existence.

    • Rozanne Gates

      Thank you, Lorrie. I found Dan’s animosity toward this news source to be a bit out of line and frankly confusing. The Westport Minuteman for years served a vital purpose in being a voice for many people who did not have access to other outlets. The editorial staff, the journalists, the administrative staff, the classified staff were all approachable, available, and extremely helpful. I felt very welcome and appreciated whenever I dealt with anyone at the Minuteman. They were big supporters of First Night when I was Executive Director and did a great job on supporting and reporting on all the events happening in town. And the paper was free. I for one miss what the Minuteman was in years past. It was an exemplary organization and I wish there still existed such a newspaper.

  11. I never ever got one in my driveway. Hey what gives.

  12. Robert Mitchell

    I also read the Minuteman every week, for the notices and the articles.
    One question, the Westport News was a subscription paper. Is it now free like the Minuteman?

  13. Louise W. Demakis

    That’s an unkind remark, Dan. Don’t you remember when Lisa Connell ran The Minuteman? She gave the guys at The Westport News a lot of grief… and Competition!.

  14. Our problem with the MMs competition is we say please deliver it, we beg and beg. We even paid for our subscription twice in one year – all to no avail.

    The delivery person would never leave a copy in our driveway. And no dogs here.

  15. The loss of any news publication is not good. The MM started out with gusto but devolved into a very limited paper, and was more ad space than content. I lamented when the Town Crier finally shut down to that “upstart” the Westport News. Like any other legacy publishing media, the transition of readers to other sources is debilitating and mostly fatal. Look at almost any paper here on the coast: it is all Hearst content. Look at the Stamford Advocate, CT (Bridgeport) Post, New Haven Register, and it’s all the same. The Hartford Courant contains local stories and coverage, their first section is mostly fed by The Tribune (Tronc). Like others, I haven’t actually gone through the MM in ages, I agree is demise had been coming for a long time.

    PS: Chip Stephens: Instead of basing my vote on issues and positions of the candidates, I’m basing my vote on the amount of yard signs at each intersection (least amount of signs wins!).

  16. The Minute Man in it’s beginning years was a real part of Westport, I enjoyed reading it every week. I agree it did deteriorate and finally disappeared all together from my driveway.

  17. I have been very disappointed in the Westport News for quite a few years & found it lacking in so many local listings. I stopped it and continued enjoying the Minute Man which fulfilled more of the pertinent local & Fairfield news than Westport News . Including the police reports, the Voters Guide and
    visiting the articles on our neighboring community of Fairfield .

    I would gladly pay for a subscription to this paper rather than Westport News.

  18. Not so fast on the unlittered driveway. We’ll now be getting the Westport News dumped to replace the Minuteman….it’s not the lousy paper that’s the trash, it’s more the plastic bag that lasts 10,000 years.

  19. I beg to differ. And I am surprised, Dan, to read such an unkind and cutting remark about a local publication that provided a wonderful (free) service and played important role in our town. A community press is what makes community. I appreciated The Minuteman for its well-written informative articles, notice of upcoming local events, and thoughtful editorials about local issues I might not otherwise have known about. I also enjoyed seeing photos of people and places I recognized. And all without having to turn on my computer. It was also a pleasure to read a publication devoid of unremitting snarky references to “entitled Westporters” parking badly – which I far less newsworthy than coverage of the activities of our town government and local events and issues. Ever since the Westport News went to Friday-only circulation, the Minuteman has scooped the Westport News every time. I will personally miss The Minuteman as I do so many other examples of our rapidly eroding free press.

    • Dan gets paid by the other team. His remarks are consistent with his self-interest.

      • Michael-I take exception to your comment about Dan and ask you to apologize. Your insulting remark has no foundation and Dan and his blog are a Westport treasure.

        You can disagree with what he posts but you have no right to accuse him.

        Your post is downright horrible.

        • Interestingly, I don’t get paid by Michael. He’s been posting comments ever since I started 9 years ago — first under an alias — and has never contributed a dime. His willingness to support a product he uses is consistent with his self-interest. But I’m still happy to provide a forum for his views.

    • Bart Shuldman

      Jessica-when you say free press do you mean you pay nothin for it? Or free as in freedom of the press?

      Would you pay for a local newspaper? Just curious and others can chime in. Just wondering what people would do and spend to have a local newspaper.

      Hopefully you try and understand the value of 06880. While the Minuteman might have been good for you I think 06880 is much better. Whatever Dan decides to write, then everyone that reads 06880 gets to see how others view and give their opinions.

      06880 is a treasure in Westport as almost all important decisions are exposed.

      • — and yet, outside views and opinions are often attacked with personal insults. No good.

        Is the Westport News free, like my community newspaper? WestportNow seems to have the same information, too.

      • The comparison of “06880” to the Westport Minuteman is just not a valid comparison. “06880” is strictly the view of its owner. It does not have an editorial board, press releases can not be submitted, objective reporting does not happen, it cannot issue press credentials. Believe it or not, Suzanne Sheridan and I were given press credentials sponsored by The Westport Minuteman to report on the Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam Tennis Event in 2011. That was quite something. The article I wrote and the photos that Suzanne captured were published in The Westport Minuteman upon our return. Previously, Suzanne had been given press credentials to cover the St. Lucia Jazz Festival where Westporter Michael Bolton was performing. In both cases, Suzanne and I paid our own travel expenses but the Minuteman published our reports. “06880” would never allow that to happen. “06880” barely reports on what is going on in town. If you only read “06880” for your news source about Westport, you would think that the only thing people in this town do is go to Starbuck’s and take up two parking spaces.

        • The big difference between 06880 and the Minute Man was 06880 was almost real time while you waited to read about something in town days later with the MM. I would also say that 06880 told wonderful stories of Westport’s past that I never saw in the MM.

          If you think 06880 is about double parked cars then unfortunately you miss Westport’s treasure. Try slowing down and read the many different stories presented by 06880 and by others. Some
          Give Dan great stories to post.

          The MM has ended because there was no support. If their ad revenue was higher you might still have the old style newspaper. But it appears many did not find value in the MM.

          Knocking 06880 because Dan wrote about the garbage on my driveway, MM, was funny. And somewhat accurate for many in westport.

          But if so many people liked MM, you should start your own MM. Be interesting to see how many would pay for a subscription.

        • Interesting, Rozanne, that as much as you despise “06880,” you continue to read it and comment on it.

    • Rozanne Gates

      Thank you, Jessica.

  20. Doris Levinson

    I always picked up the Minuteman and read it and found out about a lot of things going on in town. I’m sorry to see it go. The shutting down of any newspaper is a loss.

  21. Jens Buettner

    “No one in history ever picked up the Minuteman, other than to toss it in the trash.”
    Dan, I can’t agree more. Living in Weston I was bothered with this paper every week. I called many times that I don’t want that paper, complete ignorance and continued unwanted delivery.
    It was a waist of paper and plastic. They only good part in it, was very useful for the fireplace. 🙂

  22. Jo Ann Davidson

    I ‘m grateful for the many years that the Minuteman published the League of Women Voters’ Voters Guide, with all the candidates’ photos, bios and answers to the League’s questions. It was a service to the community that the LWV carries on through their online Guide, but the printed version will be missed.

  23. Bonnie Bradley

    Have to say that I feel sort of slugged on the chin by some of the comments on this one.

    Not having lived in Westport for the past 17 years many who comment are unknown to me and circumstances have surely changed. But I have never equated Dan’s blog with Westport’s pathetic newspapers which seemed to grow in worthlessness as the years progressed. After I moved, at first I subscribed to sort of “keep up” with my past but finally realized that what I received every week in the mail was an empty vessel, a waste of money.

    I lived in Westport for 60 years and It’s in my blood forever – the history, some people, the streets, the beach, the old stores taken over by new, the nuances, the problems and the successes. Dan’s blog is a window on both past and future for me. No newspaper today could give me that gift.

    I really didn’t know Dan, just who he was – soccer coach, writer – before the blog but I truly appreciate what he brings to my attention about “our” town, the bones and the guts, the sacred and the profane. I don’t always agree but I admire the variety of his interests… as well as the passion and wide-ranging opinions in the comments. Usually.

    A newspaper? No, never. Dan’s a free spirit who gives us a chance to see Westport in new ways and express our opinions, to learn from each other –
    and no newspaper could ever do that.