As I noted earlier this week, Gannett is ending print publication of The Middleboro Gazette in favor of digital-only distribution. It turns out the Gazette is not alone. Here is a list (which may or may not be comprehensive) of other Gannett papers in Eastern Massachusetts that are also abandoning print.
- The Chronicle & Transcript, which covers Ipswich, Hamilton, Wenham, Middleton, Topsfield and Boxford.
- The Record Citizen, which covers Georgetown and North Andover.
- The Register, which covers several communities on Cape Cod.
- The Weymouth News.
- The Courier & Sentinel, which covers Wareham, Rochester, Marion and Mattapoisett.
- The Braintree Forum.
Ironically, Ipswich does have a print newspaper — the nonprofit Ipswich Local News, co-founded by the late Bill Wasserman, who sold his Ipswich Chronicle in the 1980s to a chain that ultimately morphed into Gannett. Several other communities on this list have independent local papers as well.
As I wrote the other day, this isn’t necessarily the worst move Gannett could make as long as the company is serious about not cutting back on news coverage. Ending the cost of printing and distribution is smart as long as the money saved is invested in journalism. But Gannett executives are going to have to prove that they mean it.