As Uber Becomes a Publisher, Boston Taxi Trade Paper Stops Printing

Uber isn’t just changing the way taxi and black-car companies operate.

As the multibillion-dollar car-for-hire juggernaut expands across the country, businesses that serve the old-school, heavily regulated taxi industry are suddenly feeling the effects of new competition.

A prime example is Carriage News, a 45-year-old trade paper focusing on the taxi industry around Boston.

Late last month, publisher Bob Keeley announced in a front-page story that the February issue would be the final print version of Carriage News, and that its columns and dispatches about the industry would soon move to a revamped website.

Publishers of all sizes have faced fates similar to Carriage News as the Web has continued to siphon advertising money away from the once-lucrative print industry.

But Carriage News said the recent collapse of advertising from its client base is more clearly tied to the falling value of the traditional cab business, which is grappling with competition from digital-first companies like Uber and Lyft after decades of very limited competition in many urban markets.

“Over the years, one major source of advertising revenues for Carriage News has been the financial community—the banks, credit unions and other financial institutions that provided much-needed financing for buyers of taxi medallions,” the paper said in its final print edition.

But with the rise of Uber, which entered the Boston market in 2012, the value of each of the 1,825 city permits for taxis (known as medallions) has started to erode. The going price has dropped from … Next Page »

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