Northampton editor departs

Please consider becoming a paid subscriber to Media Nation for just $5 a month. Click here for details.

Update: Hauser’s departure was one of eight layoffs or voluntary buyouts, according to publisher Michael Moses. Joan Livingston, the editor-in-chief of the Greenfield Reporter, will become editor-in-chief of the company’s Pioneer Valley papers, a newly created position. And in an especially ominous sign, Moses uses the word “rightsize.”

Original item: I’m not sure how a daily newspaper is supposed to continue without its top editor. But Brooke Hauser, editor-in-chief of Northampton’s Daily Hampshire Gazette, tweeted earlier this morning that her job has been eliminated.

Josh Stearns, who lives in the Northampton area and has been working on projects related to the future of journalism for many years, expressed his condolences:

The Gazette is part of the Newspapers of New England chain, anchored by the Concord Monitor of New Hampshire, and is regarded as one of the better ownership groups. If anyone knows what happened, please feel free to send me an email or post something in the comments. But it looks like COVID-based advertising collapse has claimed another newspaper job.

Union to protest outsourcing of jobs at Northampton’s Daily Hampshire Gazette

The Pioneer Valley NewsGuild, the union that represents press and distribution employees at the Daily Hampshire Gazette of Northampton, will rally Monday afternoon to honor the 29 employees who are being laid off as the Gazette closes down its presses and outsources its printing. The work will be handled by Gannett, which owns the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester and a printing plant in nearby Auburn. The move was announced in mid-June by Gazette publisher Michael Moses, who wrote:

While our decision to get out of the business of manufacturing newspapers was economically motivated, it also reflects our desire to focus on the Gazette’s core mission. Content, particularly local news content, is unequivocally that mission. This is, without question, the business model that best positions us for the future, allowing us to continue the award winning coverage our readers require.

The Gazette — owned by a small independent chain anchored by the Concord Monitor of New Hampshire — becomes the latest daily paper to job out its printing. With press runs much smaller than they used to be, it makes little sense these days for a paper to operate its own presses unless it can take on enough outside work to make it economically viable. Still, it’s a sad day for the employees who are losing their jobs.

The text of the union statement is below.

WHO: The Pioneer Valley NewsGuild and YOU, the community

WHAT: A socially distant rally honoring the workers who have helped make our paper for years on their last day before a massive layoff.

WHEN: Monday, July 27 at 5:15 p.m.

WHERE: On the sidewalk in front of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, located at 115 Conz St. in Northampton

WHY: We are standing in solidarity with those who have worked shoulder to shoulder during a global pandemic to bring this community vital news every single day. After all of that hard work and risk, Newspapers of New England is eliminating their departments, ending the 233 year history of printing the paper in Northampton in order to outsource that work to media giant Gannett. This means 29 people, including 24 union members, will be laid off. Bring signs to show appreciation for these essential workers — the people who actually make this paper. (Signs telling Newspapers of New England how shameful their behavior is are also welcome.) For more information, please contact The Pioneer Valley NewsGuild at mailto:pvnewsguild@gazettenet.com

Talk about this post on Facebook.