Wednesday, May 22, 2024
The Somerville News is about to challenge the Cambridge Chronicle, first online, then in print.

The Somerville News is about to challenge the Cambridge Chronicle, first online, then in print.

Cambridge is about to get another newspaper. The Somerville News is expanding into Cambridge as Cambridge News Weekly, according to a request for inclusion on press releases that was e-mailed Monday to Cambridge city officials.

“In the next week, we will be releasing a new weekly newspaper in the City of Cambridge, first online and then in print,” wrote James Norton, editor of the Somerville paper and the nascent Cambridge publication. “It will follow the same format as our other newspaper/online media entity — The Somerville News.”

A fixture in Somerville for decades, the Davis Square-based News comes out Wednesdays in a free edition listed as reaching 9,531 people; its blog-style Web site said in late 2007 that it is seen by more than 1,000 visitors daily. As the locally owned paper for “The Paris of New England,” the paper has done much to capitalize on and promote its city’s arts scene, hosting poetry and comedy nights and an annual writers festival that draws top names.

A brief attempt to reach Norton by cell phone late Monday went unanswered.

The Somerville News has also shown success at finding local advertisers, even winning the city’s legal advertising during a period it published twice weekly. Its main competition in Somerville is the Somerville Journal, a weekly with a circulation of less than 7,000 owned by the Gatehouse Media chain; when it moves into Cambridge, it will face Gatehouse’s Cambridge Chronicle, which recently claimed a circulation of 7,500. (There’s some suggestion it even more recently claimed a circulation of 9,604, but a rise in circulation since 2005, especially such a large one, would run counter to the recent experience of almost all U.S. newspapers.) Both weeklies, which are sold for $1, have a lively Web presence through the company’s Wicked Local sites, which use text and multimedia content from throughout the regional chain.

An earlier version of this story identified incorrectly Norton’s work experience.