Monday, April 23, 2012

The Beat Goes On and On:New Assignments for Post-Star Reporters

For the first time since sustaining deep staffing cutbacks late last month, the Post-Star has reassigned reporting beats to fill the gaps in its lineup. In the process, the troubled newspaper has officially abandoned Saratoga Springs as an anchorage for its southern reporting.

According to the staff contact page at PostStar.com, the new assignments are as follows:

• Primary responsibility for reporting news for Washington County—the beat covered by recently laid-off reporters Jamie Munks, David Taube, and (in part) Tom Dimopoulos—now falls to Jon Alexander, who will continue to cover Northern Warren County as well as the rest of the Adirondacks. It is an utterly insane beat divided in the north by the length of Lake George—by far the largest coverage map of any of the remaining Post-Star reporters.

• Dave Canfield, who shared the Saratoga Springs bureau with Dimopoulos, will now be principle principal correspondent for the Saratoga County Hudson River communities of Moreau, South Glens Falls, Fort Edward and Hudson Falls

• Business reporter Blake Jones will now add the Village and Town of Lake George to her portfolio.

• Crime and Public Safety reporter Don Lehman will also take on Warren County government in the shift.

• Both Omar Aquije and Maury Thompson will keep their beats covering Education issues and Glens Falls /Queensbury respectively.

The move away from on-the-spot Saratoga Springs coverage marks a significant departure for the Post-Star. With great fanfare the newspaper opened a collaborative bureau in the spa city with television station WNYT-News Channel 13 in March 2004. As reported by then Post-Star business reporter Dan Higgins, Saratoga Springs was a key battlefield in the regional circulation wars before the recession: the Post-Star the Daily Gazette of Schenectady, and the Times Union all staffed bureaus there in hopes of finding new readers among the booming population. The Gazette Saratoga Springs office has since closed (though they still have a bureau in nearby Ballston Spa) and the Times Union shuttered its bureau in March of last year.

In other personnel shifts at the Post-Star, Donna Smith has joined the advertising department replacing Matthew Gonroff, and Christine Scrivner has joined the paper in the newly created position of Circulation Sales Manager. The new position might prove to be a hot seat as the region’s newspapers brace for the semi-annual Audit Bureau circulations reports due out next week.

Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson's editorial cartoons - under the pen name MARQUIL - appear in newspapers and online across New York State. He also provides editorial illustrations and occasional commentary pieces for The Sunday Gazette of Schenectady and regularly chimes in here at the Almanack, particularly at election time and during the annual Adirondack Bracket. Mark lives in Saranac Lake.

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7 Responses

  1. LNMP298 says:

    Nitpick dept.: Dave Canfield would be the “principal correspondent,” not “principle correspondent.” And last I checked, Fort Edward and Hudson Falls – which are indeed on the Hudson River – were in Washington County, not Saratoga County. If the Post-Star can’t figure this out, it doesn’t bode well for improving coverage in Washington County, does it?

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  2. Mark Wilson says:

    All my mistakes. Where is that @#!! copy editor. Thanks.

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  3. Pete Klein says:

    Any idea what is going on at Denton? Who is who and who covers what is getting to be a weird shell game.

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  4. Brian says:

    Keep gutting the content and then wonder why fewer and fewer people are willing to pay for the quickly diminishing product. Death spirals are never pretty. I just hope online is ready to fill the vacuum… which may be coming sooner rather than later.

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  5. Will Doolittle says:

    I wouldn’t be breaking out your fancy shoes yet to dance on our grave.

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  6. Brian says:

    Will sees it as people dancing on his employer’s grave. Perhaps an understandable defense mechanism. But personally, and I know not everyone agrees, I see the PS as still an important part of the local media landscape. That’s why its gutting concerns me so much.

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  7. Editorial Staff John Warren says:

    It might have been an important part of the local media landscape, but it’s no longer relevant online:

    http://poststar.com/news/local/post-star-to-begin-charging-for-online-content/article_8d5ed068-925b-11e1-bbf7-001a4bcf887a.html?mode=story

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