Kendall Wild worked for nearly half a century at the Rutland Herald and he’s a legend in Vermont journalism. He died on April 2, 2015. By all accounts he was eccentric, competitive, and utterly committed to getting the story…and getting it first. Wild was the paper’s managing editor all through the sixties and seventies. There was a whole generation of journalists who came up through the ranks under Kendall and they went on to become formidable journalists, writers and political heavies in their own right. I invited a few of them who are still in the area to come sit on Bill Porter’s couch in Montpelier and tell some stories. So they did. They talked about the wild ride of working under Kendall, and they talked about what it was like to work in journalism during one of Vermont’s most exciting and tumultuous chapters in politics. They also talk about beer. Come listen.
If you have a story of your own, or a comment you’d like to make, just go to the bottom of the show page and comment there. It’s always nice to hear from you.
Bill Porter worked with Ken Wild for 20 years, first at the Rutland Herald and later at the Times-Argus in Barre, and remained an admiring friend until Kendall’s death.
Nick Marro worked as a reporter at the Rutland Herald from 1967 to 1972 and then moved to the Barre Times-Argus when Bill Porter became managing editor. He went to the Vermont Press Bureau as a reporter in 1974, was Bureau Chief from 1980 to 1983, and then he was a reporter in the Press Bureau in the 1990’s.
Howard Coffin was a reporter for the Rutland Herald from 1996 to 1978, hired by Kendall. After that he acted as news director for Dartmouth College and UVM, and press secretary for U. S. Senator James Jeffords. Howard has written nine books, including four on Vermont’s Civil War history. He lives in Montpelier.
Glenn Gershaneck worked with the Rutland Herald from 1970 – 1978, then at the Times-Argus from 1983 – 1985. He went on to work as press secretary for Senator Robert Stafford, Governor Richard Snelling and Governor Howard Dean. He’s acted as both the secretary and deputy secretary for the Agency of Transportation, the deputy secretary for the Agency of Administration, and the deputy state auditor.
Ruth Porter is a fiction and writer and is married to Bill Porter.
Irene Racz worked for the papers from late 1974 until 1985. She and Allen Gilbert then became partners in a consulting business called PressKit, which offered writing, editing, media relations, and related services to clients in mostly the government and nonprofit sectors. In 1997, she left PressKit to become public affairs director at Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. She has been enjoying retirement since 2013.
Tom Slayton worked as reporter and editor for the Rutland Herald and Times-Argus for 20 years, from 1964 to 1984. For 10 years during that time, he was Vermont correspondent for the Boston Globe. For the subsequent 21 years, he was editor-in-chief of Vermont Life magazine. He’s been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Vermont, Southern Vermont College, and Sterling College. He was awarded the Franklin Fairbanks Award, which recognizes those making a significant contribution to the cultural life of the state.
Allen Gilbert worked with Kendall at the Rutland Herald from 1976 to 1983. He served as a reporter, city desk editor and assistant Sunday editor. He went on to teach for three years at a German university with other former journalists, then partnered with Irene Racz to establish PressKit, a policy writing and research firm. In 2004, Allen became executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Vermont, where he still works today.
Thanks also to Robby Porter.
Thanks also to A.J. Marro and the Rutland Herald for letting me run photos from their archive.
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