Reading-North Reading Patch is Coming on Wednesday

A site dedicated to both communities is launching on Wednesday.

You’ve been telling us you’d like more coverage of Reading – and we’ve heard you. We're happy to announce that we're harnessing our resources to more effectively cover both communities – introducing Reading-North Reading Patch!

It makes more sense to our readers and our local small business owners to offer coverage that extends to Reading, doesn't it? The business community is more than North Reading – in fact, the local chamber of commerce covers both towns.

Much of the information we are offering on this site is of interest to residents of both communities; having it all in one place will make it easier for you to keep up with all the goings-on, without flipping back and forth between sites!

Here are some of the exciting benefits this will bring to both communities:

  • All of the businesses will be part of our extensive community directory, called Patch Places. Business owners will continue to be invited to claim their listing – and readers will have a comprehensive resource for finding every business in North Reading and Reading.
  • We already are covering North Reading breaking news, schools, real estate and business – but now you’ll get to find out what is happening just down Route 28 in Reading. This will allow us to expand coverage and invite Reading residents to add their own voices to the discussion through Letters to the Editor, Announcements, Events, Blogs and photos in our Neighborhood Gallery.
  • We’ll bring you news about the business community, spotlight homes for sale, tell you about the best eateries, and inform you about events so you can plan your weekend.

It’s not just the word “Reading” that is common to both towns. Residents from both towns frequent the same parks, restaurants and businesses.

Residents from each community enjoy a walk at or staying fit at . They check out books at or . They enjoy dinner at the or and grab lunch at or the .

Reading and North Reading are two communities, but there is much they share.

We're excited about being able to provide better coverage of the things that matter to residents of both communities - which is always something we’re striving to do! But as always, if you think we're missing anything, let us know.

susan holsing March 05, 2012 at 04:38 PM
You know what they say... "You tell a lie big enough and long enough, it becomes the truth."
Stacy R March 05, 2012 at 04:41 PM
It is unfortunate to combine North Reading and Reading Patch. I am against this proposal. FIRST and FOREMOST, I want to read news about North Reading!
Alan Wolpin March 05, 2012 at 05:00 PM
The "explanation" and "justification" for combining the two editions is so transparent as to be amusing. Who do you think believes any of this? That many people have requested it - where are they among the comments to this article? I have regularly checked the Patch since I learned about it. If I really, really, really want to know what's going on in Reading, I can check the Reading Patch!!! Brilliant, isn't that? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Lynne Clemens March 05, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I think in all communities small town papers bring the joy of seeing local children's accomplishments in sports, theater, education etc. We like to see the property values of houses in our home town, Read what events are going on in our own community to support our community. I have nothing at all against Reading but I want to read about my community not any other one. I read the Globe for that. I really wish Patch would remain the same I found it a great resource for this community.
Brian B March 05, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I have not seen one pro comment for this merger. So Patch are you really listening to your readers. By the way, everyone is missing the biggest clue of what the Patch thinks of North Reading. The name of the new page is as quoted from the article "Related Topics: Reading-North Reading Patch" The proper name should be alphabetical and be: North Reading-Reading Patch. We are NORTH READING! Not Reading. By the way: Is Lynnfield going to combine with Wakefield? Why not,those two towns share "field" in their names. Is North Andover going to combine with Andover? Why not? It is the same thing as North Reading and Reading. Good-bye Patch....all good things come to an end.
Joe Veno March 05, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Les, As you can see no one is in favor of this change. Is there any chance of Patch not doing this or is it a done deal? I really hope you or someone can stop this from happening. As you know I post on Patch almost every day like Fred and I have to agree with him I have never see anyone request this. I was going to ask you to put it to a vote on Patch before you did this but I can see clearly now that would be a waste of time because like me no one that has posted wants this to be done.. PLEASE reconsider this decision before we all lose one of the best means of communication we have ever had in our town.
Barry March 05, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Joe, I'm pretty sure the decision isn't being made at the local level - it's being made by higher ups at Patch. AOL has been losing tons of money on Patch, and has been consolidating town sites all over the country. If you go to www.patch.com, there is a list of brains behind Patch (the Management Team). Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an easy way to communicate directly with them. Interestingly, there is an article on the Reading Patch that is identical to this one (with the names of Reading and North Reading reversed), also claiming that the readers of the Reading Patch have been clamoring for information about North Reading. Judging by the comments on the Reading Patch site, that doesn't seem to be the case. Their readers don't want to have anything to do with North Reading.
Joe Veno March 05, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Barry, My hopes were that Les or someone would relay our messages to the higher ups on this issue. I already put a posting on the Reading Patch. Lets hope they reconsider this decision.
Mary B March 05, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Hey, I just checked out the Reading Patch and they only have 12 posts against the idea to our 32. Looks like North Reading is more vocal about our views than our neighbors.
Aaron B. March 05, 2012 at 07:52 PM
North Reading residents beware, this is just the first step before we reincorprate you back into Reading proper.
Bryan Scott March 05, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Going out on a limb here, but seeing how the Transcript is published once per week perhaps Patch editors are struggling to find interesting, meaningful and substantial news stories to report on minute by minute. Byproduct of a small, quiet suburb I guess. I'll take my online news combined with another town in exchange for the small town feel North Reading provides any day.
Mike Litoris March 05, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Aaron, how about we come on down to good ole' Reading and have an arm wrestling tourney down at the Grump Doyle's. Loser has to swim in the sewage runoff behind Ipswich River Park.
Richard W. Kendall March 05, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Bryan, I'm hitting my imaginary "Like" button for your last comment.
Tim March 05, 2012 at 08:41 PM
From this article (March 2, 2012): http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/03/02/businessinsiderpatch-will-fire-200-.DTL "Patch is AOL's local news network of blogs. It has a poor cost structure, reaching about 10 million people per month on the backs of more than 800 editors. It lost $150 million+ in 2011." I am honestly surprised by the "You all ask for this much better service!" spin, when the real motivation here is (probably) business pressures.
Krispin Aioli March 05, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Good work Mary! I'm glad some people choose to cross the maginot line into Reading and look at their Patch.
Aaron B. March 05, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Mary, congrats! N.Reading has more time to spend worrying about trivial things like the integration of news from two towns that don't have enough content for two individual sites.
Fred Chalmers March 05, 2012 at 09:09 PM
To Les (or whoever it was that posted the original "article" at 6AM: I challenge you to give us 9 or 10 names, out of a combined population of approximately 40,000, of the people requesting information about our neighbors. That would be less than 3/100ths of 1%. Heck, give us 5 names! Your stated reason smells more & more like rotting fish. Don't take us for fools; tell us the truth. We're big boys & girls. We can take it, but stop lying to us!
Mary B March 05, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Goodie, maybe now I can get a parking permit when I want to take the train to Boston! I lost all respect for Reading when they adopted Parking Permits for the train station!!!!
Aaron B. March 05, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Mary, those are MBTA owned spaces, you're barking up the wrong tree.
Richard W. Kendall March 05, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Now, there's a late afternoon imagination fully at work for you!
Mary B March 05, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Aaron B. That's where you are wrong, the spaces close to the depot are Resident Parking only, the spaces further from the depot are the MBTA controlled spaces. I may not live in Reading, but at least I know that much, given that I was tossed out of the "Resident Parking" 20+ years ago when Reading instituted the "Resident Parking" at the depot. The best thing that ever happened to me was changing my train station to Woburn!
Joe Veno March 05, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Mary, You are correct. Aaron B. seems to have a lot to say but has no idea what he is talking about. I can remember when this was done and the question was asked "what about out of town peiople" the answer was " Who cares about them this might keep them out of the Depot area if we charge them".
Aaron B. March 05, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Mary B, So I guess you could say I'm half right, commuter parking is controlled by the MBTA. Also, it's been 20+ years and you're still upset. Bitter much?
Simmons March 05, 2012 at 11:25 PM
John, I remember reading about that incident in the Daily Time Chronicle. Thank you for your service.
Les Masterson (Editor) March 05, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Hi everyone: Thank you for all your comments. We take this kind of feedback to heart and while we know we can’t make everyone happy all of the time, I hope you’ll give us a chance to show you how committed we are to covering both communities. We want to be able to serve both North Reading and Reading effectively, and that means both users and small businesses in our area. There was no way to adequately do that with two separate sites; we were splitting our ability to serve our readers and our ability to help support local businesses. That should have been relayed in the message to our readers this morning. It was not and for that I am sorry. I understand your frustration with the change. I, too, am a North Reading resident. Please know that though the site will cover both communities that doesn’t mean that we are going to diminish one town's coverage for the other. Reading and North Reading news and events will be on both sites. And one won’t get more coverage than the other. I hope you continue to read Patch each day. We value our readers and I value my fellow North Reading residents. I am glad to see this dialogue on the site and hope it continues. Thank you.
Brian B March 06, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Les, It is blatantly apparent that the Patch has made none of its readers in both North Reading and Reading happy. The only "happy" party in this new arrangement is the corporation which owns the Parch. This is the beginning of the end for the Patch. I am sorry to say I do not see it surviving. Too bad a good idea to bring local news to social media but totally mismanaged.
Barry March 06, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Les, you are a great fiction writer. Nobody believes that you "take this kind of feedback at heart" or that you "value [your] readers". Otherwise, you wouldn't proceed with your ill advised plan to kill this site. RIP, North Reading Patch. You were murdered by corporate greed and avarice, with no concern whatsoever for the town, its people, its business or the readers.
Ellen G March 06, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Les, It appears the Powers that Be way way over your head just does not get it. As you stated in your post "...while we know we can’t make everyone happy all of the time..", The Patch with this move has certianly proven beyond all reasonable doubt that it can make no one happy all of the time! Interesting footnote to all, on the NR Patch, when you hit "Nearby", the first town to pop up is REading, but on the Reading Patch site, the first town to pop uo is Wakefield. So at the start of the Patc, it is obvious that the Patch did not even consider North Reading is nearby to Reading. Second footnote, if to save money sites needed to be consolidated, North Reading should have joined with Lynnfield, similar size towns and at least the high school play in the same league, so high school sports coverage would have been more to the readership's interest.
Carole McGillicuddy March 06, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I am not a fan of this idea, either. See ya!
Jim Pothier March 06, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I don't see how this will work. This morning, North Reading Patch ran a story about how 10 people have taken out nomination papers for public office. I doubt that anyone from Reading cares about the North Reading election, and worry that the combined site will only produce "vanilla" news to try and keep everyone happy.


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