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Briefings: The Republican’s Politics Beat Not Forever Young…

Shannon Young (via Linked In)

Transitions continue in the Lower Pioneer Valley media scene as The Republican’s national political correspondent prepares to move on. This is Shannon Young’s last week at the newspaper. She has taken a job with Politico’s New York operation, covering the state house in Albany.

Young’s departure is not the only prominent exit from the paper in recent months. However, the fate of her post is of interest.  The Republican and its online alter-ego, Masslive, which has its own newsroom, have made a push for a statewide audience. Given the pressures on the industry—and Masslive’s swift filling of vacancies on its own state desk—it is reasonable to question whether Young will have a successor.

That answer is yes, according to The Republican’s executive editor, Wayne Phaneuf.

“We are currently advertising for Shannon’s position,” he said in an email to WMassP&I.

It is welcome news given tumult cutting through the newspaper business and journalism generally.

Last year, The Republican’s owner scooped up The Reminder, a weekly publication, and the unionization of The Daily Hampshire Gazette, whose owners are based out of New Hampshire.

Cuts abound in the industry nationwide. The Republican has not been immune and its headcount has undeniably fallen. In filings with the US Department of Labor, the union for the paper’s workers has recorded steadily falling membership for a decade. An exact newsroom figure is not apparent as the union represents workers across many crafts at the paper, not just reporters.

The Republican‘s print mother ship. (WMassP&I)

Masslive employees are nonunion. However, its newsroom has been relatively buoyant.

Earlier this year, Gintautas Dumcius, a Boston reporter for the website, left for an editing gig with the Boston Business Journal. The position was not vacant for very long.

“We posted it a while ago and it has already been filled,” Ed Kubosiak, Masslive’s Vice-President for Content, said in an email. Steph Solis began earlier this month.

Young’s beat also fits state strategy of Advance, the owner of The Republican and Masslive.

She covered national politics with a focus on Massachusetts, including election and policy, in and around Western Massachusetts. For example, she led coverage of last year’s congressional race and US Rep Richard Neal’s ascent to the chair of Ways & Means. The Republican has a separate State House bureau Shira Schoenberg staffs.

Her reports often traipsed into purely national politics as well. That brought her onto the presidential campaign trail, including the conventions in 2016.

A healthcare beat in the New York State Capitol that is Young at heart. (via wikipedia)

At Politico, Young will cover healthcare policy. A spokesperson for the outlet said she will join a five-reporter Albany-based team led by an editor. As with Massachusetts, Politico produces a New York Playbook. However, its Empire State operation is somewhat larger. This is partly because Politico New York is actually the successor to Capital New York, a once-independent outlet Politico bought in 2013.

The Politico spokesperson, Cindy Andrade, said Young starts April 2.