A Proposal for the Amsterdam Recorder

Posted: August 26, 2011 in Consolidation, Misc, Uncategorized

It’s no secret that local papers everywhere are struggling. The number of people who choose to get their news on “paper” is declining daily.  Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, when newspapers started to become popular, news travelled  slow and therefore, we created newspaper companies  that were small and that provided for the local people’s needs. Some people actually lived their entire lives only getting their news from the local paper.  But today we have radio, television and the internet to get our news. Today’s world is not the same as it was in 1930. Newspapers like the Amsterdam Recorder need to start thinking outside their territorial boundaries if they are to survive.

Inspired by the Amsterdam Recorder’s steadfast advocacy for consolidation and regional collaboration, I believe the best thing for them is to consolidate with The Leader Herald. Now I don’t have any real facts to show that this would be the best thing for them economically or if this would actually serve the needs of the people of Fulton and Montgomery County any better, but to me it just seems like the right thing to do.

Actually, it’s a little ridiculous that this paper has to be reminded of these realities, especially when our neighbor Schenectady County, with a population roughly the same as Fulton and Montgomery combined, has only one paper, the Schenectady Gazette. Now if one paper can cover that many people, why do we need two? I am sure that there are many areas where these papers are duplicating services like advertising, billing, and circulation. I bet that both these paper’s printing presses are being underutilized too. Why not just use one and save money? And I am sure that the combined reporting staff can be downsized and still cover twice the area they once did at the same salaries. I mean it just makes sense, right?

The concept of the neighborhood paper, while a nice one, simply doesn’t work. Competition between papers only hinders progress. The Amsterdam Recorder should adopt a collaborative approach which everyone will benefit from. So what do you say, editors?

  1. diane says:

    Tim, I think you have hit on something. I think it is a grat idea. I read both papers daily.

  2. Rob Millan says:

    Not a bad idea, but not an easy thing to do.

    There is a lot more to this idea than meets the eye, namely that it would more than likely be impossible for the two papers to join wholly as they currently stand. I hate to feed into rumors, but someone may owe back taxes, and if so, then ‘A’ would have to assume any of ‘B”s debt, which ‘A’ may not want or may not be in a position to do. If in proceedings or protection, the court has to approve and bla, bla. bla, gets a bit messy.

    Consolidating a few of their busuiness units as Becker points out, ie) billing, customer service, ads and classifieds may not be a bad idea.

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