Earlier today I broke the news that GateHouse Media is closing its office in Somerville and laying off staff, with the Somerville Journal to be run out of the company’s Danvers office and the Cambridge Chronicle out of Lexington.
That prompted this tweet from the Journal:
@cdevers @DMcLeanWL No layoffs in Somerville but our office will likely be closed in a few months. But we'll still be around in town a lot
— Somerville Journal (@VilleJournal) March 17, 2016
The Boston Business Journal followed up with additional details, including the fact that Wayne Braverman, a longtime GateHouse employee who’s a group managing editor, would be losing his job.
You need a presence in the community—a place where folks can drop in with an obit, a press release, or to give someone a piece of his or her mind. Local newspaper offices have become a rare species over the past 40 years, though some papers—no longer encumbered by the need to have their printing presses close at hand—have been reversing that trend.
I don’t expect readers of the Somerville and Cambridge papers will notice much difference, and I should note that the Medford Transcript is already run out of Danvers. But I moved from Danvers to Medford a little over a year ago, and let’s just say that the two communities are not close. And Somerville is probably another 10 minutes farther away. The Cambridge-Lexington connection isn’t quite as absurd, but how can a city as large and engaged as Cambridge not have its own newspaper office?
We’ve been having a robust conversation on Facebook about GateHouse’s latest move to squeeze out every last drop of blood from its hardworking employees. Please join in.