Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Taconic Press

We're closing the Taconic Press weekly group of Dutchess and Putnam counties this week. (The final editions just rolled off our presses in Kingston.) As was the case last week when we ceased operations at The Independent in Columbia County, it doesn't feel good.

I'm not at liberty to share financial data and other considerations with you, but it's safe to say that the eight Taconic Press weeklies, like The Independent, fell victim to a troubling financial environment for newspapers and newspaper companies, large and small, public and private, as well as the near-catastrophic (the president's word) status of the economy.

Until passing the baton to Tom Cincotta earlier in 2008, for about three years I published the Millbrook-based Taconic Press papers and magazines, having been asked to take over after a couple of short-lived stints by other publishers. Much of my time, however, was spent in Kingston, running the larger daily newspaper operation. But people like Ann Gibbons, Jeff Ohlbaum, Larry Priest, Kate Goldsmith and Melissa Swart, among others, tirelessly led the way, producing generally first-rate products at Taconic Press. I relied on them from 40 miles away, and they did themselves proud.

So, in the end, while I feel badly for communities that have lost their local weeklies (and feedback from news of the closing has been touching, the sadness of their demise clear), my thoughts, thanks and best wishes are mostly reserved for the aforementioned Taconic Press managers and their staffs.

They can leave Taconic Press with their heads held high.
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