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  • Tonawanda News to fold in January

    The Buffalo News | The Tonawanda News

    Twenty employees at the Tonawanda News will lose their jobs in January after the paper closes, the Buffalo News reported Thursday.

    The Tonawanda News, a 134-year-old newspaper serving north suburban Buffalo, is closing after revenue from advertising and circulation failed to keep pace with expenses, the paper reports.

    The paper belongs to the Greater Niagara Newspapers group, which includes two other papers in the region: the Niagara Gazette and the Lockport Union-Sun and Journal, according to The Tonawanda News. Neither paper is closing.

    Read more
  • Only 1 in 5 college newspapers updates its website daily

    College Media Matters | Student Media Map

    Just 21 percent of student newspapers at public, four-year universities update their websites five days a week, according to an interactive tool launched Thursday.

    Student Media Map, a project by University of Texas senior Bobby Blanchard, compares rates of online publishing at student newspapers nationwide, Dan Reimold writes for College Media Matters.

    The map works by mining RSS feeds at 485 student newspapers throughout the United States and representing each with a colored dot based on their publishing frequency. A green dot means the site is updated at least five times per week, purple means the site is updated less frequently and red indicates the university does not have a newspaper. Private universities and some colleges in New York are missing from the map.

    The project shows that publishing frequency tends to skew in favor of larger schools — only 4 percent of newspapers at universities with fewer than 10,000 students enrolled published content five-days a week, compared to 81 percent of student newspapers at universities with between 40,000 and 50,000 students.

    The idea for the project came from a conversation that arose when the student newspaper at The University of Texas, The Daily Texan, was faced with reductions to its print frequency, Blanchard told Reimold. The newspaper vowed to maintain a steady flow of copy to its website, which made Blanchard wonder: how many papers did the same?

    You can check the map out for yourself here.

    Read more
  • 9 takeways from the New York Times Co. 3rd quarter earnings call
    The New York Times building in this 2009 file photo. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

    The New York Times building in this 2009 file photo. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

    The New York Times Co. joined McClatchy yesterday in booking a rare operating loss for the third quarter, $9 million or about 2.5 percent on revenues of $364.7 million.

    But the many moving parts of the Times digital transformation effort had a number of positives mixed in as well. Here are nine takeaways:

    1. About that loss. It was driven by high costs associated with staff reductions ($20 million) and investment in new products. The first will be a one-time blip. But the Times will be launching and relaunching new digital versions for some time to come. Each is expensive to develop and market, and significant new revenues may be slow in coming.
    2. Equilibrium in ad and circulation revenues. A 17 percent year-to-year gain in digital advertising for the quarter roughly offset a 5 percent decline in print. Similarly revenue from a net gain of 44,000 digital-only subscribers offset revenue losses for print and print-digital subscriptions. That’s an achievement. On the ad side, most of the industry is not yet growing digital and other revenue fast enough to cover print ad losses — and Times execs, in a conference call with analysts, concede that they don’t expect to do so again in the fourth quarter.
    3. Room to grow digital audience. The 44,000 quarter-to-quarter gain, the largest the company has recorded in several years, CEO Mark Thompson said, came mainly from new international customers and the “consumer education” sector (i.e. discounted subs to students). Thompson said that with improved marketing abroad he expects to continue growing that group of subscribers.
    4. Too expensive? The Times has raised print subscription prices this year, but the higher revenue per customer, chief financial officer James Follo said, was “outweighed by volume declines.” Daily print circulation was off 5.2 percent year-to-year and Sunday 3.2 percent. With the cost of a seven-day print subscription outside the New York metro area inching close to $1,000 a year, the Times may find renewals, new subscriptions (and newsstand copies) a tougher sell — especially as a range of much cheaper digital options are available.
    5. About those executive changes. Thompson had little to add to the announcement earlier this week that 26-year veteran Denise Warren was leaving the company after her chief digital officer job was split in two. But he did drop a hint, saying the Times would be looking for “an injection of specialized digital expertise.” Warren was an experienced and talented generalist who moved from overseeing advertising to the successful completion of the Times paywall strategy. But deeper digital roots may be needed in the executive suite for the next round of growth.
    6. Women in leadership. Warren’s is the third high-level executive departure in three years, following the firings of Thompson’s predecessor as CEO, Janet Robinson in December 2011, and Executive Editor Jill Abramson this May. The Times did add a woman in its top advertising job, hiring Meredith Kopit Levien away from Forbes in July 2013.
    7. Mobile advertising progress. Kopit Levien said mobile advertising is finally gaining some traction, accounting for about 10 percent of digital ad revenue. On the other hand it lags mobile audience which now accounts for more than 50 percent of the digital visits to Times’ sites and apps.
    8. Newsroom hiring. Thompson said he expected a modest wave of hiring following the well-publicized downsizing by 100 jobs. But as at many publications, the newly hired will have different job duties like audience development rather than traditional reporting and editing roles.
    9. Lower revenue per customer. Several questions and answers in the earnings conference call focused on so-called ARPU, jargon for average revenue per user (or unit). With the changing product mix, ARPU is falling at the Times, though Follo said by only about 5 percent year-to-year.

    That spotlights a huge financial challenge for the industry. As business moves down the price chain (both ads and circulation) from print to desktop/laptop to smartphone, a company can end up running fast just to stay even in revenues. And that’s likely to persist for years not just quarters.

    New York Times shares traded down about 5 percent at market close.

    Read more
2010 Wall of Distinction Honorees

The Syracuse Press Club bestowed its most prestigious award Thursday night to five outstanding Central New York journalists.  In a dinner held at Drumlins in Syracuse the club installed the five to its Wall of Distinction.

 

 

The honorees are:
Robert Atkinson, Executive Editor of The Post-Standard
(Retired)
Janis Barth, Managing Editor Local News, The Post-Standard
John Krauss, General Manager WRVO Stations (Retired)
Ron Lombard, General Manager, Your News Now
Hart Seely, Reporter, The Post-Standard

The Wall of Distinction is in the theater lobby of the John H. Mulroy Civic Center in downtown Syracuse.  Matt Mulcahy of WSTM-TV.CNYcentral served as the MC for the evening. Former WSTM anchor and now CBS News weekend anchor Jeff Glor was the keynote speaker.  


 

 

 

Robert Atkinson

Like many in our community, Robert Atkinson began his career in journalism by attending Syracuse University. After six years in the U.S. Navy, where he began his career as a journalist, he returned to Syracuse to get a job with The Post-Standard. He began his forty year career at the paper with a posting as bureau correspondent in Saranac Lake in 1954.  He spent time as the Watertown Bureau reporter before making it as a reporter on he city desk. By 1965 he had moved up through the ranks to become Managing Editor, overseeing the paper's entire news operation.  In 1981 Atkinson was named Executive Editor, overseeing the paper's news operation and its editorial voice.
While Atkinson was at the helm of the paper it was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for a series of reports in 1992 on how poor medical care in New York's prisons made them the deadliest in the nation.
Atkinson also showed editorial courage in a community in love with Syracuse basketball when a series of articles titled "Out of Bounds" revealed NCAA violations in basketball recruiting.  The series resulted in sanctions against the basketball team.
He retired in 1993.

Janis Barth Managing Editor Local News, The Post-Standard

Janis Barth began her career in journalism in radio working as a reporter in the North Country. She later switched to print as a part-time North Country reporter for the Syracuse Newspapers in 1978. By 1990 Barth joined the main newsroom in
Syracuse as a reporter on the city desk.  She quickly was named an assistant city editor.  In 1992 she was promoted to city editor for the Herald Journal/Herald American.  Barth later rose to the positions of Assistant Managing Editor and Managing Editor, leading the paper's news staff and coverage.

Barth's story ideas, newsroom leadership and editing skills lead the staff of the paper as it reported some of its most compelling and award-winning stories.  Among them the six month long investigation  by Jon Craig and Hart Seely that toppled the management at the NYS Division for Youth. The report found physical and mental abuse of young people incarcerated by the state.  Barth was the prime mover and final arbiter for every word and phrase of the series. 
Barth also personally led the paper's coverage at Woodstock '99. Staying with a team of reporters in a  rented trailer at the site. As the concert weekend came to a close, a riot erupted and Barth was there personally directing her team caught between thousands of rioters and state police.

John Krauss-General Manager WRVO-FM (Retired)

John Krauss is one of the rare people in broadcasting today who has spent more than forty years at one station, and the listeners of WRVO-FM are he better for it.  Krauss joined WRVO  when it signed on the air as a 10 watt educational radio station on the campus of SUNY Oswego. As the station grew in size and power, Krauss worked in all facets of station operations becoming its first news director and also served as morning host.
As WRVO increased its coverage area by adding stations in Utica and Watertown, Krauss was promoted to Assistant General Manager.  Ten years later he became the station's General Manager. Under his leadership the station continued its growth in  size and news coverage.  WRVO now broadcasts at 50,000 watts and in HD.  The station continually ranks as one of the top eight stations in the Syracuse area. In recent years its strong local news department and its affiliation with NPR has filled the gap in radio news coverage as fewer commercial stations in the area make a commitment to local news coverage.  That success can be seen in the growing number of SPC awards as well as statewide awards WRVO has won.

Ron Lombard-General Manager Your News Now

Your News Now, (originally News 10 Now) is an ambitious endeavor by Time Warner Cable to deliver 24 hour news across New York State. Ron Lombard was selected by Time Warner to handle the tremendous job of putting this operation together from scratch; hiring the staff, supervising the build out of studio and newsroom facilities, and training a young staff to make it all happen.  The Syracuse operation he oversees covers news stories from Binghamton to Watertown and from Utica to Auburn providing viewers with local news any time of the day.
Lombard is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication. He began his career in central New York as a reporter and anchor at WSYR radio. He later moved to WIXT (Now WSYR-TV) Newschannel 9. Ron started as assignment editor before moving on to the position of assistant news director. He was news director from 1991-2001, helping lead the station to its place as the dominant ratings leader in the market.

 

 

 

 

Hart Seely-The Post-Standard, Author

Hart Seely is a reporter, author, essayist, political commentator and so much more. Hart is one of the most versatile reporters and writers in central New York. He's written hard-hitting investigative pieces like his expose on abuses of teen inmates in New York, and his reports from Iraq while embedded with the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division.
Seely is also an accomplished writer of features and humor columns.  His work is not just seen in Syracuse. Seely's writing appears in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington, Slate.com and National Public Radio. Seely is also a published author of "Mrs. Goose Goes to Washington: Nursery Rhymes for the Political Barnyard," (Simon & Schuster, 2007). He is the co-editor of "O Holy Cow: The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto" (Ecco Press, 1993), "2007-Eleven and Other American Comedies" (Random House, 2000), and editor of "Pieces of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld" (Simon & Schuster 2003).
 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 October 2010 19:56 )
 
"If none of us ever read a book that was “dangerous,” had a friend who was “different” or joined an organization that advocated “change,” we would all be just the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants. Whose fault is that? Not really [McCarthy’s]. He didn’t create this situation of fear. He merely exploited it, and rather successfully."
--Edward R. Murrow

Wall of Distinction


Karel "Bud" Vanderveer

Herald-Journal

Herald American

Shortly after graduating from Syracuse's Central High School in 1939, Bud Vanderveer joined the Herald-Journal. However, it wasn't until he returned from service with the U.S. Army in World War II that he began covering sports full-time - the career that made him one of the most respected and best-known sports writers in New York State.
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