The new owner of the Syracuse New Times does not wear a cravat. The new owner does not own a custom car manufacturer that shares his last name. The new owner does not produce theatrical musicals. The new owner of the Syracuse New Times may take the newspaper on a roaring ride of new media success, but he is not Art Zimmer.
The new owner is Bill Brod. He has great respect for the 72 year old outgoing owner of the alternative weekly newspaper. In fact, it was an introduction at a Syracuse meeting o f the Harvard Business Club that ultimately led to Zimmer and Brod getting into deep discussions about buying the New Times. Brod is an entrepreneur who had no interest in media or publishing until Zimmer started to share his enthusiasm for the 41 year old publication and the strong demographic characteristics of the New Times readership.
Zimmer told his top notch staff at the paper that it was time for a younger leader with new ideas. The last couple of years the New Times survived a crushing economy, but Zimmer recognized it was time for him and his wife Sheila to move along. When he found a locally based buyer he felt confident the future of the New Times would be bright.
I have always enjoyed chatting with Art Zimmer. He is a fascinating man with an eclectic range of interests. His view of the world is upbeat even during challenging times. He is not easily influenced by the hot trends or popular way of thinking. For many years he took pride in not being a computer user, although his farewell letter to staff acknowledged that is no longer a strength.
Under Art Zimmer the New Times continued its tradition of being provocative in its content and unafraid to be a source of all things social in Central New York. He also employed and encouraged an experienced staff of talented award winning newspaper people. He leaves a prime local brand in the hands of his successor. Bill Brod plans on continued success on the print side and a bigger effort online.
As for Art and Shirley Zimmer they are free to pursue their other passions of which there are many. Art will long be remembered - how could we forget him.Any questions or comment please forward them to mattsmemo@CNYcentral.com . I may even use some of your thoughts on Action News at 5:00, the 10:00 News on CW6 or on CNYcentral.com.
The opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of the author and are not reflective of the views or opinions of Barrington Broadcasting, WSTM-NBC3, its management or employees.