city block on which The Saratogian sits, including the building in which I
am sitting as I write this, is as of this moment owned by local businessman
Frank Parillo, who has the smarts and the wherewithal to acquire valuable
property when he sees it.
itself is not — repeat, not — part of
want to assure you that we are continuing to do what we do as your local
newspaper, er, news company. We’re still here, printing daily and every day
expanding our online presence.
Read a full story about the sale here.
Paton, the CEO of our parent company, has made it clear that one way to run a
financially viable news company is to reduce so-called legacy costs, like
buildings that are not needed for doing business. (Click here to find John Paton's blog) The Saratogian property falls in that category.
no mistake, I found this brick building — with “The Saratogian” spelled out on
the corner — charming from the day I started here as a reporter, on June 20,
1977. But what I love more than the building is being downtown, in the heart of
Saratoga Springs. The deal with Parillo keeps The Saratogian at 20
Lake Ave. for at least the next three years. That’s plenty of time to figure
out where our base of operations will be after that. This is an opportunity to
open the door, literally, to the community.
The Saratogian has the charm of an old building: stuffy in the summer,
drafty in the winter, and windows that were caulked shut during the French and
Indian War. Hard to get nostalgic about a place when half the year staffers
wear gloves while they type and sit practically in one another’s laps. Can’t
say I’m enthralled by a building whose largest conference room comfortably
seats six. And for the last 14 years the printing has been off-site (in the
building of our sister paper, The Record, in Troy), so I’ve long gotten over
missing the smell of ink and the way the building shook as the press rattled
Col. Walbridge sold The Saratogian to Gannett Co. Inc. in 1934, the editor
at the time probably offered the same assurances I offer today: Local news is
our bread and butter, our brand, our reason for being.
was a time when newspapers, and other businesses, abandoned their downtowns and
moved to the suburbs, and I worried that we would end up in a sterile building
somewhere far from where the action is. Happily, that never happened.
April of 1985, when The Saratogian switched from afternoon to morning
publication, I remember then-Publisher Margo Drobney saying that we need
to be available where and when readers want us. At the time, that meant when
they started their day.
philosophy is more imperative than ever: We must be where and when readers want
us. Today, that means being available 24/7 on a variety of platforms, in
addition to print, and being an interactive company engaged with its community.
We are better equipped than ever to meet those obligations.
Gannett sold The Saratogian to Journal Register Co. in March of 1998, the
new owner made it clear that our mission was unchanged: we are the hometown source
for local news. We’re still owned by Journal Register Co. and managed by
Digital First Media, which operates more than 800 digital and
print products in 18 states serving 57 million customers per month.
impressive reach of Digital First Media allows us to offer readers much more
than we could ever provide with our local news resources. Breaking news,
features, pictures and videos on topics of general interest — business, health,
entertainment, veterans — are just a click away at www.saratogian.com and through social media. The strength of those numbers is
being leveraged to grow readers and advertisers, essential for the financial
survival of news companies.
part of the reduction of legacy costs, Digital First Media has been
consolidating and outsourcing some business functions. That does not include
the gathering and reporting of local news. We’re going through a spurt of
turnover in news and sports, and I am already in the process of interviewing
and filling these openings.
so proud of The Saratogian staff and how much this small, talented,
dedicated crew accomplishes. I love being an integral part of this community.
It is exciting to be a journalist during this revolution in the way news is
defined, produced and shared. All these things will continue to hold true,
wherever The Saratogian staffers hang their hats.