SYRACUSE — The Post-Standard plans to slash its publishing schedule and cut home delivery to three days a week beginning in January in a bid to adapt to increasingly digital audiences, it said today.
The Syracuse newspaper will publish on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays for delivery to homes and newsstands. It will publish a smaller version for single-copy sales in Onondaga County on the other four days of the week. The single-copy program will be under review and could be eliminated by the end of 2013.
Job cuts are planned as well.
The Post-Standard will begin operating under a new corporate organization on Jan. 1. It will be combined with its website affiliate, Syracuse.com, to form a new company called Syracuse Media Group. The company will aim to provide 24-hour news to digitally focused audiences.
A second new company will be formed to focus on support functions like distribution, production, accounting, and human resources. It will be called Advance Central Services Syracuse.
Staffing will be reduced when the new companies open for business in January, says Post-Standard Editor and Publisher Stephen Rogers. He declined to say how many workers will lose their jobs. Details on the job cuts will be available in three to four weeks, he says.
Syracuse.com currently employs about 20 people, while The Post-Standard has 325 full-time employees and nearly 100 part-time employees, Rogers says. About 110 people work in the paper’s newsroom, and there will be “as many if not more reporters on the street as there are today” when the new companies come online, he adds.
Advance Central Services Syracuse will continue to operate from The Post-Standard’s Clinton Square building in downtown Syracuse. But Syracuse Media Group will leave that facility and the space it occupied will be leased out, Rogers says. Syracuse Media Group will operate from leased space, he says.
“The new company, with its digital format, it needs really a new place to work, one that is not tied to the way newspapers have been produced,” he says. “So we will be leasing space, someplace hopefully downtown, and use that space to make what I hope would be a very exciting, very innovative, digitally oriented workspace.”
Rogers will become chairman of the new Syracuse Media Group. In that role he will serve on the group’s editorial advisory board, represent it in the community, and advise the group’s new president, industry veteran Tim Kennedy.
The changes to the Syracuse paper come as its owner, Advance Publications, Inc., rolls out similar changes to newspapers in Harrisburg, Pa., New Orleans, Alabama, and Michigan. The Times-Picayune in New Orleans said in June that it will lay off 32 percent of its staff, 201 employees, when it shifts to a three-day-a-week publication schedule this fall.
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