Inside VTDigger

Sky Barsch named CEO of VTDigger

Sky Barsch, who has been named CEO of VTDigger, in Montpelier on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. Photo by Natalie Williams/VTDigger

The Board of Trustees of the Vermont Journalism Trust has named Schuyler “Sky” Barsch as Chief Executive Officer of VTDigger, one of Vermont’s most valued and trusted sources for state and local news – and a model for local, independent non-profit newsrooms around the nation.

In her role as CEO, Barsch will lead the organization’s efforts to expand audiences, grow revenues and provide Vermonters with outstanding reporting on matters of public interest. 

“Sky’s dedication to serving audiences and growing revenues for mission-driven news organizations locally and nationally makes her an ideal person to lead VTDigger’s next chapter,” said John Reilly, President of the Board of Trustees of the Vermont Journalism Trust. “She brings a spirit of creativity, inclusivity and strategic thinking to her work, which is matched only by her passion for Vermont and for public service journalism. We are delighted to have her join VTDigger as our new CEO.”

VTDigger's evolving management structure reflects its ongoing growth. While Barsch will serve as CEO of the organization as a whole, the newsroom will remain under the day-to-day direction of Paul Heintz, who was named editor-in-chief in November.

A Vermont resident, Barsch comes to VTDigger after an extensive career in local and national media, including roles at the Burlington Free Press, the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus and The Nation magazine. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Sponsorships & Market Strategy for Chalkbeat, one of the largest nonprofit news organizations in the United States. At Chalkbeat, Barsch led the team and strategy for sponsorships and advertising, tripling earned revenues and growing audiences across platforms.

Previously, Barsch served as Associate Publisher of Vermont Life. At Vermont Life, she oversaw the digital version of the magazine, as well as social media channels, email newsletters, and digital asset development for Vermont Life’s content and e-commerce websites.  In addition, Barsch was the owner, editor and publisher of Vermont Sports, a magazine dedicated to outdoor sports and recreation in northern New England.  

“I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to lead VTDigger’s next, exciting chapter,” said Barsch. “I love our state and I believe in the unique power of local journalism to connect, inform and inspire Vermonters. I look forward to working with the remarkable team at VTDigger to expand our service to new and existing audiences across current and emerging platforms.”

Before moving into media management, Barsch got her start in journalism as a reporter for the Burlington Free Press and for the Times Argus, where she was named the Vermont Press Association’s Rookie of the Year. Barsch has also played an active role in civic and community life in Vermont. She has served as corporator for Northfield Savings Bank and as a board member of the Barton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Montpelier Area Mountain Bike Association. She owns a fitness studio in downtown Montpelier and is an indoor cycling and yoga instructor and an avid mountain biker. 

Barsch succeeds Jim Welch, who has been serving as interim Executive Director since founder Anne Galloway announced her decision to step down from her role in May 2022. In the 13 years since Galloway launched VTDigger, it has grown from one reporter — Galloway herself — to become one of the largest newsrooms in Vermont, with dozens of employees and more than 600,000 monthly readers.  

Barsch’s first day as CEO will be April 17, 2023.

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