Longtime Local Publisher Stepping Away from Newspaper

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by Robert Kimmel – 

The longtime publisher and owner of the River Journal is stepping away from the newspaper, potentially bringing an end to its publication which began 21 years ago. “Tis’ time to move on,” Robert Bonvento wrote last month in the ‘Fall Issue’ of the paper.

Bonvento, a Tarrytown resident, noted that he was a professional actor before starting the paper, adding, “I wish to return to my writing and performing.” He cited a performance at the Tarrytown Music Hall last year in which he performed and had written, adding, “It showed me that I still have the ‘acting chops’ to continue.” He said he is working on a second solo performance.

The River Journal was circulated monthly in Tarrytown, Irvington, Sleepy Hollow and Briarcliff Manor. Mailed originally to Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow addresses. Irvington was added more than a decade ago and Briarcliff Manor more recently. It also has a web presence.

Whether the newspaper continues, or not, apparently depends upon its sale to a new publisher. “River Journal will either continue under new ownership – everything is in place for it to do so in print and online – or the River Journal can move on as well,” Bonvento wrote. Bonvento offered his thanks to “all the people with whom I have come in contact with over two decades.” As of this reporting there is no specific word that the paper has either been bought and will continue or, as Bonvento expressed it, the paper will “move on.”

Bonvento, 72, was brought up in Tarrytown and was a graduate of Sleepy Hollow High School. His career has included counseling in mental health, writing and on-camera performances in television programs.

“The River Journal was the first paper to pick up my writing when my family moved to the rivertowns 12 years ago,” David Neilsen commented. Neilsen, who had written the column, “River Dad” for eight years, said, “It was through my relationship with Robert and my reporting that I quickly became part of the community.” He credited the paper for “…many of the relationships I have and roles I’ve played in this community.” Referring to “River Dad,” Neilsen said, “These columns are special to me as they are a snapshot of my life when my children were much younger, and also in many ways were the precursor to my becoming a published children’s author.”

Should the River Journal cease publication, The Hudson Independent will remain as the single, monthly community newspaper reaching all residential and businesses addresses in Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, and Irvington, as well as Scarborough-on-Hudson and Ardsley-on-Hudson locations. The Hudson Independent is published by the Hudson Valley News Corporation established 13 years ago with the financial support of 65 local shareholders. It has won awards from the New York Press Association and various local organizations.

“We take very seriously our newly heightened responsibility as the predominant source of news about our rivertowns,” The Hudson Independent’s Editorial Board Chairman Barrett Seaman said following Bonvento’s announcement.

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