The North Adams Transcript will merge with The Berkshire Eagle on Jan. 20.
So to speak, the North Adams Transcript and The Eagle have been engaged for a number of years, and now we're making the marriage official.
With the merger, the Transcript name plate will be discontinued, and its full-time news-gathering staff - three news and sports reporters, a digital news specialist/senior reporter, and a visual journalist - 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 move means The Eagle - Berkshire County's dominant news organization in digital and print news - will augment its countywide coverage with consistent news coverage of and perspectives from Northern Berkshire County, including from Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, North Adams, and Williamstown.
At the same time, the Advocate weekly will publish its last edition on Jan. 16 and its name plate will be retired.
Meanwhile, The Eagle will expand its popular Berkshires Week arts and culture magazine and publish it as a standalone publication 52 weeks a year, instead of just from May to October and as in-paper pages from November to April. This starts with the Jan. 23 edition. The region continues to grow across all four seasons in the arts, entertainment and culture, and we believe that Berkshires Week must keep up with the demand from readers who crave this news and information all year long.
For home-delivery subscribers of the Transcript, this means that on Jan. 20 you'll start receiving The Eagle, a newspaper that's double or triple in size and one that delivers more local news and sports and entertainment and features.
The Eagle carries a far broader state, nation and world news report, along with coverage in health, opinion, education, food, nightlife, arts, theater, lifestyles, business, outdoors, etc., which is not the case with the Transcript because of its size.
Why is this change taking place? The Eagle and Transcript have been part of the same news organization since 1996. Since then, the two newsrooms and all of the business-side operations have evolved to work side by side or have become one in the same.
Publishing two daily newspapers that cover the same market - literally, they overlap - no longer makes sound business sense when one accounts for the duplicate efforts and redundancy in the processes involved in producing, delivering and servicing two newspapers that share the same mission. This, too, is the case with the Advocate, the free weekly newspaper we also produce.
We are raising the bar when it comes to news-gathering for our readers. In this era of digital media, merging the Transcript with The Eagle will enhance journalism's viability in the Berkshires for years to come.
By merging the news staffs into one coherent department, the result is a formidable news-gathering force delivering the quality reporting, breaking news and watchdog journalism that readers expect online and in print.
Kevin Corrado, publisher
Kevin Moran, vice president of news
I'm a Transcript home-delivery subscriber. What does this mean for me?
You will receive The Eagle starting on Monday, Jan. 20, according to your current frequency of Transcript delivery. If you subscribe to the Transcript six days a week, you will receive those six days plus Sunday's Eagle (a total of seven days a week). Your subscription rate does not change. At the time of your renewal, you will be able to select your new subscription model and pricing. If your subscription comes up for renewal soon, contact our customer care department at 800-245-0254.
Will I still get my coupons and fliers?
Yes. Your coupons will be what you receive now and more in Sunday's Eagle. For example, The Eagle coupon savings on Dec. 15 totaled $250 - compared with $191 in the Transcript that weekend.
Will you still be covering news in our area? Will my local events be covered? Will my local sports teams still be covered?
Yes, we will still cover news, local events, sports, etc., in Northern Berkshire County. The newsroom will assign a third full-time news reporter to cover news in your area, so you'll get more. Also, The Eagle regularly covers news, sports and culture in Northern Berkshire County, and you will get that too. We are committed to covering the news throughout Berkshire County, and we will continue being the voice of Northern Berkshire County.
Will my delivery time change for my newspaper?
Your delivery time is guaranteed by 7 a.m. every day. The Berkshire Eagle is an early morning newspaper, so you will receive it hours earlier than you were receiving your Transcript.
If I have a question or a concern about the delivery of my newspaper, who do I call?
The contacts remain the same. Our customer care department can be reached at 800-245-0254.
Where do I email my news releases and community announcements?
To firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep the email@example.com email address continuing for a period of time.
Who will I contact to place an obituary? An engagement? A wedding announcement?
Your contacts for these departments stay the same. For obituaries, it's (413) 496-6226. For engagements and wedding announcements, it's (413) 496-6357.
Will how I place a classified ad change?
The process of placing a classified ad remains the same. It's the same number, (413) 442-2000 or 800-234-7404 - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Will how I place a legal notice change?
The process and the phone number remain the same: (413) 496-6260.
Will how I place a display advertisement change?
The process and the phone number remain the same in Northern Berkshire County: (413) 663-3741.
Will the office in North Adams stay? How do I reach the office in North Adams?
Yes. The office at 85 Main St. stays and we expect to keep an office in the downtown area. The number remains the same, (413) 663-3741.
I have a news tip or story idea. How do I reach a Northern Berkshire County reporter?
This stays the same, too. Call the North Adams newsroom at (413) 663-3741. One may also call the Pittsfield newsroom at (413) 496-6227.
Where do I send a letter to the editor?
To firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep the email@example.com email address continuing for a period of time.
Will I still be able to read the local obituaries?
Will the comics change?
Transcript home-delivery subscribers will receive the Sunday color comics starting with the first Sunday edition on Jan. 26. Sunday comics are part of the Sunday Eagle if you buy a copy at the newsstand. Some of the same Transcript daily comics are published in The Eagle; others are not. The editors will assess the comics and puzzles lineup in the weeks to come.
Will my website change? Will my e-edition site change? Will my Transcript news app change?
TheTranscript.com will redirect you to BerkshireEagle.com starting on Jan. 20; AdvocateWeekly.com also will route to BerkshireEagle.com. Your website and your e-editions subscriptions will be transferred. The Transcript's mobile apps for smartphones and tablets will no longer be updated; we encourage you to download The Eagle's from your smartphone and tablet app stores.