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Boston weekly Transcript TAB loses print edition


The move is similar to many recent decisions made for several other Gannett-owned newspapers in eastern Massachusetts.

Haris Rauf

The TAB Transcription, a weekly newspaper serving four Boston neighborhoods, has, like many of its fellow publications, officially entered a digital-only future.

The print edition of TONGUE, which serves West Roxbury, Roslindale and Allston / Brighton, ceased on December 1, according to WickedLocal, the newspaper’s online home page.

“The Transcript TAB and its parent company, Gannett, understand that many readers appreciate and depend on the news and information they find in their print products every week,” the newspaper staff wrote in a November 10 article. “The company’s focus on digital news reporting helps ensure the continued delivery of valuable community journalism and effective platforms for advertisers.

The move follows Gannett’s shrinking footprint in the general news industry in Boston and Massachusetts.

According to media critic and Northeastern University journalism professor Dan Kennedy, at least six other Gannett-owned newspapers have announced plans to forgo a print edition over the past month, including the Braintree Forum. (Kennedy, in a post on his “Media Nation” blog last month, noted that his tally of half a dozen outlets “may or may not be complete.”)

The TONGUE was first published in 1930 as Transcription of the walk, and he mainly focused on Roslindale, according to a story cited by Universal hub and written in the 1970s by Richard Davis, who took over the direction of the paper from his father.

The modern TONGUE is the product of the changing media landscape.

Notably, the coverage areas reported by the Allston / Brighton Journal – on the west side of Boston – and West Roxbury and Roslindale – on the city’s southern border – share little in common, geographically or otherwise.

But the zones were merged in 2019 when the then owner – GateHouse Media, which was later acquired by Gannett – combined the Allston / Brighton tab with the West Roxbury / Roslindale transcript to create the paper that now exists.

While residents of these four neighborhoods can continue reading the TONGUE online, there are still other weeklies that offer a free paper edition.

The Bulletin Newspapers, Inc., based in Norwood, prints both the Boston Bulletin and the West Roxbury-Roslindale Bulletin.

In an emailed statement to Boston.com on Monday, Dennis Cawley, co-editor of Bulletin Newspapers, said Gannett’s recent announcement to end print publishing was “unfortunate, but not surprising.”

“Local news reporting is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain as a viable business operation,” Cawley said. “The business model we have consistently adhered to for nearly 30 years has been to focus myopically on generating quality local information, assuming that readership and advertising would become a natural by-product of our efforts.

“To date, it has worked for us,” he added.

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