Wed, 29 Aug 2012 02:07:57 GMT — The Post-Standard and Syracuse.com are joining together to form a new digital company called Syracuse Media Group that is scheduled to launch in January, 2013. Stephen A. Rogers, editor and publisher of The Post-Standard, made the announcement to staff and in a release on Syracuse.com on Tuesday. Rogers will become chairman of Syracuse Media Group.Beginning in January, The Post-Standard will only be published in print for home delivery and newsstands three days a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The Syracuse Media Group will also print a smaller version of the paper for single copy sales the other four days of the week in Onondaga County. This smaller edition will be reviewed and may be eliminated "before or by the end of next year," according to the release on Syracuse.com. "We have not been immune to the challenges facing other newspaper companies and we must adapt to the changing media landscape," said Rogers. Rogers said there will likely be staff reductions in the production department but the company has not determiend how many people could be let go. Over the next 3-4 weeks, ownership will decide how many employees will be offered jobs with the new company. "There will be some cutbacks. The staff overall will be smaller but reporters on the streets - there will be as many if not more," said Rogers in an interview with CNYCentral.comDavid Rubin, Professor and Dean Emeritus, Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, says heâ??s not surprised by the announcement but says journalists remain important. "We can't function as a democracy in Onondaga County without this trained collection of journalists reporting the news," says Rubin. "We can't leave it to amateurs who drop in, drop out, do it as a hobby, may be trained, may not be trained, have agendas, we don't know." Rubin says he understands the economics involved in the decision. "I know that they did it because they felt that the current system was not sustainable that if they simply kept going as they were going, that it was not going to work," Rubin says. "We have to hope it works from a democracy position because the Post-Standard is now and will continue to be, no matter what you call it, the largest repository of journalists in the city," says Rubin. According to Syracuse.com, the Syracuse Media Group will move out of The Post-Standard building in Clinton Square to a new location. Tim Kennedy will become president of the new company. According to the release, Kennedy was formerly an executive with the Tribune Company, publisher of The Morning Call in Allentown, PA, and general manager of the Rodale News Network. A second company called Advance Central Services Syracuse will be formed to manage functions that support the Syracuse Media Group such as printing, information systems, and human relations.
The Post-Standard is owned by Advance Publications which has announced similar changes in New Orleans, Harrisburg, Pa., Alabama and Michigan.
Rogers says the new focus on digital media is an acknowledgement that more people are reading the Post Standard on computers, cell phones and tablets.
"We have been around since 1829. I do not want to see that die. So I am determined, we are determined to keep it alive," said Rogers. (Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)