Sunday, February 22, 2009

Albany Herald adjusts to tough economy

Jim Hendricks writes:

Q: Every day there are those who predict that newspapers are dying. Is The Albany Herald going out of business?

A: Although we’re in a crisis, I firmly believe The Albany Herald will be here for a long time. We’re in tumultuous waters, but we’ll navigate our way through them. Newspapers, like every segment of society, are certainly struggling in this horrible economy. The newspaper industry has been hit even harder than most businesses because of huge advertising losses from four key areas: real estate, automotive, recruitment and major retail. I have responsibility for our entire newspaper company, and I can tell you the Albany market is suffering greater losses than the others. When you look at the jobs we’ve lost with Merck and now Cooper Tire, it’s devastating to our community.

In the last few years we’ve seen several retail establishments close in Albany with nothing opening to fill the void. To name a few: Food Max, Food Lion, Rex Stores, Office Max, Jim’s Piano & Organ, Rhodes Furniture, Goody’s and Circuit City. The combined annual loss in revenue to The Albany Herald of just these businesses was over 7 percent of our total revenue. Many of our local businesses are fighting to keep their doors open one more day.

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