Pennysaver ending publication, about 60 laid off

William G. Veit, president of Scotsman Media Group, announced Monday that the company has published its last issue of the Pennysaver.

Veit says in a media release that the company will continue to publish the Valley News, Todayâ??s CNY Woman, Vacationer, and other publications. Scotsman Media Group says it is chosing to focus its efforts on these commercial publications, rather than try rejuvenating the Pennysaver.

About 60 employees have been laid off, which is about one third of the companyâ??s staff. Most of the employees at the Scotsman Media Groupâ??s locations in Auburn and Cortland locations were laid off. The company also laid off employees from itâ??s locations on West Genesee Street in Syracuse, Fulton, and Chenango Bridge. In addition, roughly 200 carriers are losing their work delivering the Pennysaver.

Veit says the company will continue operations at its Syracuse, Fulton and Chenango Bridge locations. The company also says it will refund the price of any advertisements purchased but never published.

The "decision was the result of a sudden and dramatic downturn in the companyâ??s Pennysaver advertising business," says Veit. "Many factors led to the downturn in the companyâ??s Pennysaver business including, but not limited to, a myriad of other advertising alternatives in the market."

It's a decision that is now leaving many without a weekly circular on which they depend as a way of saving money. "A lot of people on the South Side [of Syracuse] use the Pennysaver," said Sherrie Hill, who has been using the circular for 25 years. "A lot of people on the West Side use the Pennysaver. Every week, by week, I depend on it."

"People read it all the time," said former Pennysaver carrier John Hall. "Kinda sad to see it go. Another icon, you know, is gone."

Others saw the Pennysaver as the thing of the past, even before it stopped publication. "I didn't think they still used it," said Frankie Ciotoli of Syracuse. "I thought it was pretty pointless when they had it anyway. There was never anything in it. Just another thing to clog up the mailbox."