North Adams Transcript Merging With Berkshire Eagle

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The North Adams Transcript's name will be retired after more than 100 years; the weekly Advocate will fold.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The North Adams Transcript's name will disappear after the paper has served North County and beyond for more than 170 years.  

The Advocate, long a Williamstown weekly staple, will fold.

Kevin Corrado, president and publisher of NENI, and Kevin Moran, vice president, announced Thursday afternoon that the Transcript will be fully merged into The Berkshire Eagle, NENI's flagship paper.

In the post on both papers' websites, the papers were described as having "been engaged for a number of years, and now we're making the marriage official."

The former family-owned dailies were purchased by MediaNews Group in the 1990s, along with the Bennington (Vt.) Banner and Brattleboro (Vt.) Reformer. The Advocate was acquired from Boxcar Media, iBerkshires' parent company, in 2005.

The Transcript's staff has slowly been reduced over the past few years as The Eagle has taken over more of its business and production sides, including printing. It has not had a separate publisher or editor for some months.

The building was sold several years ago and the paper's offices moved to Main Street. The paper says it expects to keep the downtown office open.

According to the announcement, the Transcript's current staff will join The Eagle's news department:

"These journalists will continue to do what they do best — and that is cover Northern Berkshire County. With this, The Eagle renews its commitment to serving the communities of Northern Berkshire County, while carrying on the longstanding tradition of being the voice for the region."

The post lists the paper's news staff as three news and sports reporters, a digital news specialist/senior reporter and a visual journalist. The Eagle plans to continue covering North County and expand Berkshires Week, its arts and entertainment insert, to 52 weeks from its current summer run.

Mayor Richard Alcombright said he was saddened to learn the local staple would be no more.  

"It's an amenity that has been around forever and synonymous with North Adams, it will be sorry to see it leave," he said. "From the background I came from,  I understand the business decisions, I fully understand that things have to change."

Alcombright said he was assured by principals at The Eagle, including Moran, a former editor at the Transcript, that the regional newspaper would continue strong coverage of the region. The mayor has frequently mentioned the Transcript and its local coverage as one of the resources of the city.

"I've been assured equal or greater than coverage ... we should have a good presence there  [in The Eagle]," he said, adding that based on those comments "I would still stand by my statement that we have a local paper."

Transcript subscribers will begin getting The Eagle on Jan. 20.  The Advocate weekly will publish its last edition on Jan. 16.

According to "History of North Adams, Mass., 1749-1885, Reminiscences of Early Settlers," the Transcript was established Sept. 7, 1843, by John R. Briggs as the Adams Transcript. The paper went through a number of names and publishers, but has been published as the North Adams Transcript for more than a 100 years. The Hardman family ran it from 1896 until selling to The Boston Globe in 1976.

Updated with comments from Mayor Alcombright at 4 p.m.

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Letter: Andrea Harrington for DA

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

The election of Andrea Harrington was part of a wave of progressive DAs across the country elected by people who recognize that our justice system is too often unjust and in need of meaningful change.

District Attorney Harrington has been true to her word as a reformer. Her opponent embraces the old paradigm that the justice system is the right way to rehabilitate, and embraces the use of diversion programs embedded in the justice system— expensive programs that expand the criminal legal system.

District Attorney Harrington embraces an approach grounded in public health and a harm-reduction approach. She embraces diversion to public health programs that do not sit inside the justice system. She understands that labeling people who use drugs as criminals, and calling them addicts is harmful, and she supports proven harm-reduction approaches that save lives.

Andrea says her office will never work with ICE because they need to build trust with the immigrant community. Her opponent says he will cooperate with ICE, as he sees fit. Our criminal justice system is riven by injustice where those in poverty and people of color are disproportionately prosecuted and incarcerated. Andrea has shown true leadership in embracing criminal justice reform — working toward true structural change — and that is why she has received endorsements from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Attorney General Maura Healey.

Please vote for Andrea on Sept. 6 so that she can continue this important work.

Wendy Penner
Williamstown, Mass. 



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