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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: If you like us, tell someone...and have them tell someone...and

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

If you like us, tell someone...and have them tell someone...and

I'm having a little trouble getting into the holiday spirit this year, but it's not the first time for me.

My last career was in retail as a store manager for Service Merchandise in Fishkill, New York. It was a fun, huge square footage location that I closed on Christmas Eve 11 years ago.

Every floor display was 50 percent off, we still were selling items during the Christmas rush and I actually had one teenage cashier burst into tears at her station with 10 people in line and quit on the spot.

I would find out a week later that I would be the first of 431 stores to close and "There was no room at the Inn" for me and my time was appreciated, but unfortunately over.

That allowed me to move to the Capital Region and then luck out in finding the best job I have ever held in my life.

Now things are looking bleak once again, not only for me, but for all of us.

Banks are receiving bailouts, families are losing their homes, car manufacturers are taking extended vacations and newspapers are on the brink of disaster.

Layoffs about in the industry and have hit not only in my location, but also effected my friends throughout the state.

As you may have read in this week's Community News, we have cut our mail delivery to areas outside of Clifton Park in a cost savings move.

Here's the skinny. It costs 15 cents to mail you a Community News and we mailed out 30,000 every week. That's $4,500 in postage per week, $234, 000 per year. Our sales staff, which has mainly consisted of "Diamond" Dave Slusarszyk has worked his bald head off for years, but that's a big chuck of change to bring in each week to meet the bottom line. Add in newsprint cost and ink, a delivery driver and then the staff.

Our staff, in case you wondered..three. Donna Bell, my third official editor in 11 years, "Golden" Glenn Griffith on the news side and yours truly. And none of us are making a king's ransom.

Bottom line...It's not easy being free.

So here is my Christmas wish, (Yes I said Christmas!), wish...tell someone how much you like the Community News as well as our daly product, The Saratogian, and that you read it every day or every week.

Now I've been fortunate to hear kind words over the years, more than any job I've ever had and each one is greatly appreciated. Now I need to ask that you pass those kind thoughts on to each and every business you frequent in Southern Saratoga County.

Let them know you saw their ad in the Community News while you're shopping. Ask them to advertise in the Community News. Ask them to become a weekly drop point for the Community News if you live in Mechanicville, Ballston Lake, Burnt Hills, Waterford, Halfmoon and Malta.

Remind them that it's the Community News that is at each week's school board meetings, town board meetings and sporting events. It's "your paper" and you really like and would like to see it continue.

This post comes after reading about three weeklies closing in the Philadelphia area last week and a whopping 16 closing in Connecticut announced last Friday by our corporate parent, Journal Register Company.

We're not closing the doors, that's not the plan, but we sure would like to get some help from our friends, like you, the reader.

Enjoy the holidays, I've got some vacation time to use up before Jan. 1, a quick sledding trip on the Eve to see my parents in Binghamton and then back at the keyboard doing what I love to do, write about our local sports stars.

I wish you all the best to you, your family and your friends.

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