Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - The weekly “Pennysaver” publication printed its last edition this past Sunday. The company behind the popular paper has shut it down. Now, workers, readers and local businesses are already feeling the loss.
The Pennysaver has been in publication since the 1950s. It’s a handy guide for Central New Yorkers looking for services or customers.
Pennysaver advertiser Terrance McFadden told NewsChannel 9, “We ask [our customers], by the way, how did you hear about us and they say, ‘Oh, we got you from the Pennysaver.’”
Eighty percent of McFadden’s customers find him through a small two-line ad in the paper’s business directory. As a self-employed plumber, it is the only advertising he can afford.
“The Pennysaver definitely got to enough people where we are definitely not rich, but at least we put food on the table,” McFadden continued.
The future is uncertain after the paper ended its production – eliminating 60 jobs. As costs went up, ad revenues suddenly dropped in December.
“January is typically a pretty weak month in our industry anyway, but it was weaker than normal and in February it didn’t get any better,” explained Scotsman Media Group President William Veit. “The risk was too high to run the operation any longer.”
Distribution was extensive, up to 210,000 homes in the region, but there’s more competition for advertising than ever – much of it now online.
The news from the Pennysaver comes on the heels of similar cuts at the Post-Standard, the Citizen in Auburn and the Oneida Daily Dispatch, all of which said they had to make difficult changes in order to survive long-term.
“I’ve been with the company for 23 years. This was a gut-wrenching decision. It was one that was made with a lot of thought and it was accelerated over the past few weeks,” Veit continued.
McFadden worries small local businesses will struggle to compete with franchises that can afford more advertising.
“I’m hoping somebody else will step up to the plate to fill that void. Because I think it is needed,” McFadden said.
The Scotsman Media Group will now focus on commercial and specialty publications, including today’s CNY Woman, The Finger Lakes Vacationer and the Valley News in Fulton.
Previous Story: Scotsman Pennysaver paper shut down, approximately 60 laid off
March 11, 2013
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – The Scotsman Pennysaver, the paper known for classified ads delivered weekly on doorsteps around Central New York has shut down, and its publisher has laid off approximately 60 employees.
The Pennysaver had 14 regional editions published for communities around the area, according to the Scotsman website.
Company president William Veit said in a statement that the March 10 editions would be the Pennysaver’s last, and said increasing competition contributed to the decision.
The Scotsman Media Group’s offices in Auburn and Cortland have closed and most of the employees at those locations were let go.
The company says it also laid off employees at offices in Syracuse, Fulton, and Chenango Bridge.
The company says it will continue publishing its other publications, including the Valley News in Fulton, Today’s CNY Woman, and the Finger Lakes Vacationer.