Cathy Osten


Cathy Osten



February 21, 2023

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Sen. Osten editorial board meeting with The Day newspaper

On Monday, February 20, 2023 in New London CT, from approx. 2pm until 3pm, Sen. Osten took part in an editorial board meeting with The Day newspaper of New London editorial board, consisting of President & Publisher Tim Dwyer, Executive Editor Tim Cotter, and Staff Writer Erica Moser.

The meeting was held at the request of The Day. Sen. Osten has taken part in similar editorial board meetings in the past. The original, stated purpose of this meeting was to discuss “the budget,” i.e. Gov. Lamont’s proposed budget, Sen. Osten’s reaction to it, and potential legislative agreement or changes.

I was travelling out of state on Monday when between 313pm and 317pm (according to my missed calls log on my cell phone) I received two phone calls from Sen. Osten which I could not immediately answer. I returned her calls at approx. 7pm Monday evening.

To the best of my recollection, she told me she had just taken part in the most “bizarre” (or words to that effect) editorial board meeting she had ever experienced. Today, in a private conversation, she characterized the event as “an odd editorial board meeting.”

I texted Kevin Coughlin and Cutter Oliver Monday evening about Sen. Osten’s concerns.

The meeting concerned Sen. Osten for two reasons:

1) The meeting touched on a wide variety of topics outside of the originally stated intention of discussion of the governor’s proposed budget and her reaction to it as Senate Approps Chair

2) Leadership at The Day repeatedly impressed upon her the apparently dire financial situation of The Day and asked her questions pertaining to potentially financially harmful legislation and possible state aid.

For example, Sen. Osten said The Day editorial board members (she did not specify who) asked her three separate times in a 60-minute interview about various, proposed bills that have been introduced this session pertaining to allowing municipalities to post legal notices on their municipal websites, instead of in print newspapers, as has historically been done.

Sen. Osten said the editorial board seemed to be under the impression that these bills may be before – or could possibly come before – the Appropriations Committee, and would she consider “killing them” as “a favor” to the newspaper (my recollection of her words). When I spoke further with Sen. Osten today on this matter, she stated that the editorial board simply expressed a desire that “they don’t want the bills to pass.”

I could find no such bills on the CGA website that are before the Approps Cmte, but there are several Democrat and Republican bills on that topic filed with the Planning and Development Committee (Sen. Osten is NOT a member of P&D).

Sen. Osten also told me that the editorial board mentioned that it owned two buildings in downtown New London: it had already sold one building and is in the process of selling its current newspaper HQ building, and is considering moving down the street to a new building, and does she know if there are any state business grants or loans for companies that move into enterprise zones?

Sen. Osten told me today that she often fields such state aid question from other private businesses in her district.

Finally, The Day editorial board also reminded Sen. Osten about its practice in 2022 of having employees take one furlough day a week for 11 weeks in order to save money… and of the more recent decision of a supermarket chain (Stop & Shop) to purchase ad space just one week a month – instead of every week – in a new, weekly northern news edition of The Day.