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Matthew Fairburn leaving Buffalo Bills’ beat to head to New England Patriots’ press corps

Another week, another big loss for the media covering the Buffalo Bills. Last week, it was Marcel Louis-Jacques at ESPN and this week it’s Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic. Fairburn announced on Thursday he was taking a job with The Athletic covering the New England Patriots.

“Today starts a new chapter in my career,” wrote Fairburn in a Twitter thread. “My family and I are moving east as I begin a new role covering the Patriots for The Athletic. To say we’ll miss Buffalo is an understatement. But I’m excited for the challenge and ready to get going this weekend.”

There was no announcement of replacing Fairburn in Buffalo. The Athletic still has Joe Buscaglia as a beat reporter and Tim Graham as an enterprise reporter who can pinch hit if they are seeking a replacement.

Fairburn joined The Athletic at their local launch in 2018 where he’s covered the Bills. Before that, he was with Syracuse.com as their Bills beat reporter from 2014 to 2018. Prior to that, he was in college working for the school newspaper at Missouri and also was an editor for SB Nation’s Draft coverage for three years. (SB Nation is the parent company of Buffalo Rumblings.)

Fairburn’s family is from just north of Boston, so this represents a homecoming of sorts for him as well as a step up in readership to a much larger market. His wife recently had their first baby.

“Buffalo will always be home for me and my family. We’ll be back often. This is probably the only job that could have pulled us away,” added Fairburn.

The previous Patriots’ beat reporter, Jeff Howe, was promoted to a national NFL position within The Athletic.

One other piece of housekeeping regarding The Buffalo Beat podcast. Buscaglia says the popular pod will continue and Fairburn will be a guest twice a year. A new co-host (if there will be one) hasn’t been announced at this time but there is one more episode with Fairburn coming this week.