I’m not sure which of the following pieces of news is worse for the Newton TAB:
1. Swing reporter Ashley Studley is leaving for the communications department at the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts;
2. Because of #1 above, the reporter position above that is split between Newton and Brookline is now vacant and is unlikely to be filled.
Ashley’s departure will be a loss for both Newton and Brookline. Shifting back and forth between two communities is hard work and Ashley’s good at it. Most reporters get overwhelmed in that position but Ashley takes it all in stride. She’s a great breaking news reporter and is a ton of fun to have around.
When I became editor of the Newton TAB, I had two full-time reporters. At one time, I believe my predecessor, Don Seiffert, had as many as four reporters.
I don’t see GateHouse filling that position. Just a few months ago, their papers in Cambridge and Somerville also shared a reporter but that position has been eliminated and it’s unlikely that Newton and Brookline will keep that extra slot. Which would mean that one reporter would be covering 85,000 people in Newton — in a municipal election year.
Please note: I’m speculating and I’d love to see GateHouse prove me wrong. This community needs a newspaper that will hold its leaders accountable, and the Newton and Brookline editors are already far too stretched.