Last week, instead of a week’s worth of calendar listings and an edgy column by a local writer, the Transistor quietly marked the end of its tenure. On its website: a black page, and the epitaph “fin (2004-2019).”
“It’s the end of an era,” said Adam Guggemos, the major figure in the local arts and entertainment scene who conceived of the publication in addition to designing it, publishing and delivering it to places like Pizza Luce and Erbert & Gerbert’s.
Guggemos gathered event listings for local bars, theaters, nonprofit organizations, coffee shops and colleges and listed them into the free multi-page black-and-white magazine that also included a comic, a column and ads. It was also posted online at transistormag.com.
The Transistor started about 15 years ago, when the alt then-weekly Ripsaw went from a weekly newspaper to a monthly magazine.
“The premise was fairly simple,” Guggemos said. “Give people what they want: to know what’s going on.”
The problems, according to Guggemos: varying degrees of engagement from bar owners and the changing landscape for event listings. The job required 20-30 hours a week - and 75 percent of it was the calendar work, he said.
For Walter “Walt Dizzo” Raschick, The Transistor was a way to find out what was happening week-to-week. Also: “The mixture of comics and stories was a cool thing to look at every week,” said the longtime host of The Dean’s List on KUWS-FM 91.3.
Melissa LaTour, Homegrown Music Festival director, called the publication her “go-to” for everything entertainment.
“It didn’t just cover music - it was any local stuff. It was the general guide I went to,” she said.
Meghan Gantz, who has worked at local nonprofits for the past 10 years, said Guggemos has done a lot for the community.
“He’s always been helpful with posting events for agencies, advertising for a reduced rate or even free of charge, making sure posters for events get out,” she said. “He always posted the PAVSA Sexual Assault Crisis Line number free of charge in the first listing of the week in every issue - this not only helped folks who are survivors access our information, but for their friends or family to be aware of such info.”
Raschick said it wasn’t a job that made Guggemos super wealthy - that it was done as a community resource. LaTour agreed, describing its creator as thorough in his collecting of information.
“He was very dedicated to making sure it was a complete Transistor and not lacking in any area,” she said.
Guggemos said last week that he hadn’t had time to process the end of the Transistor, and he isn’t sure what he will do next. He’s evaluating his options, he said, but it will be in publishing.