Thursday, December 18, 2014

Two Valley papers to merge; publisher says neither is folding

HERKIMER and LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - In another sign of economic times and the changing news media landscape, two valley papers are facing consolidation - but neither one is closing.

According to the publisher for the Little Falls Evening Times, the daily newspaper will move operations to Herkimer, sharing a building with its sister paper, the Herkimer Evening Telegram.

Both papers will continue to publish their respective editions.

The Little Falls Evening Times and the Herkimer Evening Telegram are both owned by Gatehouse Media, which also owns the Utica Observer-Dispatch newspaper.

In the month of September 2008, Gatehouse Media stock hadn't traded above a dollar a share. And Gatehouse reported a $430 million second quarter loss that Fall.

In their First Quarter 2009 results, GateHouse Media announced a 15% decline compared to the previous year. Total adjusted revenue declined 16.3% on a same-store basis, and circulation revenue declined 0.7% on a same-store basis, according to GateHouse Media's overall reports.

Beth Brewer serves as publisher for both papers.

She said the Evening Times is doing well and this is simply a business decision to consolidate.

Brewer said that some positions would be eliminated, but said that, in turn, some positions could be created at the Utica office.

In April, The Richfield Springs Mercury newspaper printed its last edition, For a small village, Richfield Springs had quite the journalistic history - they had a newspaper for the better part of 142 years.

In September, Gatehouse Media CEO Michael Reed says the reason behind the loss in revenue is a decline in classified ads - a problem that is plaguing many newspaper companies.

Syracuse University Professor Bob Loyd says it's important to note that no mass medium has ever died - they adapt, evolve and grow with the changing times.