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Jeff Lawrence to step down as editor and publisher of DigBoston

Jeff Lawrence in his office in 2000.
David L. Ryan/globe staff/file
Jeff Lawrence in his office in 2000.

Jeff Lawrence, the founder of DigBoston, is stepping down from his post as editor and publisher of the alt weekly that’s been around since 1999.

“Twenty years ago, I launched Shovel Magazine, an arts and entertainment rag dedicated to nonsensical wit and sarcasm. Three years later, that stone was turned over and the Weekly Dig was born. The rest, as they say, is history,” he wrote in a letter to DigBoston readers.

Lawrence continued: “Since then, a lot has happened; we’ve seen many a politician come and go, businesses small and large rise up and disappear, and a staff that carried the torch with every burning issue until the necessary flames burnt out. I regret nothing and wouldn’t change a thing, including my mantra that everything has a timeline and everyone has an expiration date. Including me. Which is why I’m now stepping down as editor and publisher, and passing the torch.”

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“Effective immediately, I’ve begun to transition the day-to-day operation and eventually ownership to the next generation,” he wrote “I haven’t sold the company yet, nor have I put in place the entire team to help me make this a reality, but the ball is rolling.”

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In the letter, Lawrence explained how he sold the Dig in 2004 only to buy it back three years later. That won’t be happening this time, he said.

“Any and all changes will be permanent and I’m not looking back. I’ve had one hell of a run, but it’s time for someone new to make bold and exciting mistakes. I’ve always said that I’d bow out before I became irrelevant, and I’m woefully behind schedule,” he wrote.

Lawrence said he’s currently reviewing offers and is considering turning the Dig into a nonprofit venture.

“Not that it ever generated a profit anyway,” he wrote, “but the idea that independent journalism should be free and unfettered from ad dollars is extremely appealing to me, and I imagine the reader as well.”

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So who will take over DigBoston? That remains to be seen.