The Vineyard Gazette will discontinue the Tuesday newspaper print edition this summer, publisher Jane Seagrave announced this week.
“Next Tuesday, May 14, marks the 167th anniversary of the founding of our paper and now, as readership patterns are changing, we’re delighted to see more and more people access news and information on our website, especially through their mobile phones and iPads,” she said. “The Tuesday paper has a long and distinguished history and has had a great run, but today we have other ways to more rapidly deliver our unique brand of community journalism.”
The Gazette’s twice a week print publishing schedule in the summer months was begun by Gazette publishers Henry Beetle Hough and his wife Elizabeth Bowie Hough in 1929 to provide more frequent updates for readers and advertisers. “The improvement is in line with the growing importance of Martha’s Vineyard as a summer resort and will make the Island newspaper a greater factor in Island progress,” an announcement in the Gazette said on June 14, 1929.
Today, the Gazette updates its website, mvgazette.com, several times a day, and Ms. Seagrave said the newspaper will introduce free email newsletters beginning in June for subscribers and nonsubscribers alike.
The email newsletters will go out to readers on Tuesday and Friday mornings, and will include a summary of top news and links to stories on mvgazette.com, as well as highlights from editors about upcoming events and coverage and reviews of community activities.
All subscribers to the Gazette with email addresses on file will automatically receive the newsletters. Others who wish to receive the newsletters can sign up at any time.
The Friday Gazette will continue in its traditional format as a black and white broadsheet that is printed at the newspaper office in downtown Edgartown. Former Tuesday features such as the Farm and Field column will now appear in the Friday edition.
Editor Julia Wells said discontinuing the Tuesday paper will have the benefit of giving the Friday newspaper more heft and depth alongside the newspaper’s quickly evolving website.
“This change will allow us to strengthen the Friday Gazette with more in-depth news and storytelling in the long-form journalism that is the newspaper’s hallmark on topics such as the environment, the economy, government affairs, social issues and arts and entertainment,” Ms. Wells said. “Meanwhile, the Gazette website will continue to be the place where Vineyard readers turn for the best daily and breaking community news, color photojournalism and multimedia features.”
Ms. Seagrave said the change was made after consulting with a sample of the paper’s advertisers and vendors who wanted the benefit of having the Friday print edition remain on sale all week, all year round. Advertisers who want more frequent contact with readers can opt for ads on mvgazette.com or the Gazette’s new email newsletters, she said.
“We are grateful for the support of the Vineyard business community and committed to developing new ways to promote our local economy with full-time and seasonal residents as well as visitors. We share an Island and are dedicated to sustaining the businesses that Island consumers need, ” said Skip Finley, director of sales and marketing for the Vineyard Gazette Media Group.
Last fall, the Gazette introduced a new website built with responsive design technology that makes it easy to read the paper on any computer, tablet or cell phone. The site has been free to all users for the past several months.
The site’s paywall, which limits access to subscribers for most stories, will be reinstated in June when the newsletters are launched, Ms. Seagrave said. After that time, certain content including obituaries, classified advertising and the real estate page will remain free. Anyone will be able to read up to 10 stories a month without subscribing. Full access to other stories will be limited to subscribers to the Gazette.