Saturday, January 12, 2019

Another hometown tradition dies out

Digital First Media, aka El Cheapo Media, corporate parent of The Record and its step-sister publications, The Saratogian & The Daily Freeman (Kingston), is, in turn, owned by a hedge fund, which means that their only concern is their bottom line. Profit margins and ledger reports are more important to these folks than the communities served by their newspaper holdings.

That said, it shouldn't come as much of a shock, then, to learn that Digital First, in another effort to pinch pennies, is closing The Record's downtown office at the end of next month. The present staff is being retained, and will report periodically to The Saratogian's office in Saratoga Springs.

What little foot traffic came to the office at the River Triangle building was largely there to purchase the weekly coupon supplements in advance of their weekend releases, in order to get a head start on their grocery shopping. Perhaps the closing of the office was inevitable after The Record sold their long standing Broadway base (now an apartment/retail complex) and moved their printing operations to the Albany Times-Union's Colonie plant a few years back.

To paraphrase Bruce Springsteen, Digital First keeps taking one step up, and ten steps back when it comes to the hometown. The hedge fund owners' role models probably include Ebenezer Scrooge, for all we know. They don't care as much about the communities they serve as they say they do. If they did, they'd find another solution. However, common sense is just as scarce as surplus petty cash, it seems.

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