State Rejects 9 Bids, Will Keep Control Of 'Vermont Life' Magazine

Jan 12, 2018

The state of Vermont has turned down nine bids for Vermont Life and will keep control of its promotional magazine.

The nine rejected bids came in last fall, after the state put out a request for proposals in September.

"None of the proposals adequately addressed the debt or the declining revenue deficit," says Wendy Knight, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.

Knight says Vermont Life carries about $3.2 million in debt. But Vermont Life's finances are moving in the right direction, according to Michael Schirling, secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

"Our current projection is that we will be in the black just over $2,000 this year," Schirling says. He anticipates an even better financial picture for the magazine in fiscal year 2019.

Schirling says that improvement is due in part to several staff departures in the last year. Among those departures was the magazine's former editor, Mary Hegarty Nowlan.

Since last summer, Vermont Life has had an interim publisher, Steven Cook, who is also the deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. Schirling says Cook will continue in both roles for the foreseeable future.

Update 1/13/2018 9:13 a.m. This post has been corrected to reflect Cook's job title at Vermont Life — he is interim publisher, not acting editor — and also to clarify Schirling's comments on the magazine's financial situation.