Staffers with more than 150 years of combined newspaper experience will leave The Record and Saratogian, the daily newspapers announced on their websites late Thursday.
Executive Editor Barbara Lombardo and Editor Lisa Robert Lewis will leave July 23 and June 30, respectively, and were among six newsroom employees who accepted “voluntary buyout offers,” according to a statement from Publisher Michael F. O’Sullivan.
Lewis joined The Record in 1976 and Lombardo joined the Saratogian in 1977. Also taking buyout offers are Chief Photographer Mike McMahon, with 39 years of service; Executive Sports Editor Kevin Moran, with 28 years; Copy Editor Lianne Webster-Kim, with five years; and sports writer Laura Amato, with four years.
“We’re saying goodbye to dedicated professionals who have served their newspapers and communities well for decades. They will be missed,” said the statement from O’Sullivan, who could not be reached for comment.
In June 2012, the Saratogian building on Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, was sold to local developer Frank Parillo under a $2.6 million deal that gave the newspaper three years to leave the building. The deadline appears to be imminent.
This wave of departures comes after an earlier round of layoffs in May, when longtime staff photographer James Carras, City Editor Charles Kraebel, Digital Editor Karen Wallingford, Assistant Sports Editor Tim Martin and advertising staffer Tammie Keller were let go.
Kraebel is returning to the newspapers to become the managing editor, the statement said.
Owned by 21st Century Media, a subsidiary of New York City-based Digital First Media, the two papers are part of a nationwide package of newspapers up for sale.
In March, The Record left its longtime downtown headquarters at 501 Broadway after that building also was sold. The sale price was not disclosed, but in 2014 Digital First Media listed the three-story building for sale at $1.85 million.
Controlled by the New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital, the company also owns the Daily Freeman in Kingston and the Oneida Daily Dispatch. Last year, Digital First consolidated editorial and management duties at the two local newspapers.
In March, Digital First Media was in negotiations to sell most of its properties, which also include the Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News, to buyout firm Apollo Global Management LLC for about $400 million, according to a report by Reuters.
According to the Reuters report, the potential sale by Digital First reflects a belief by buyout firms that newspapers will remain profitable through “cost cuts and new digital offerings.” Reuters reported Digital First Media has annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $125 million.
The second largest U.S. newspaper chain by circulation, Digital First reaches 67 million Americans each month in 15 states, according to its website. Its holdings include the Los Angeles Daily News, St. Paul Pioneer Press and the New Haven Register, according to its website.
On Thursday, messages of support quickly accumulated at The Record alumni Facebook page.
Moran, the departing executive sports editor, was philosophical about the change.
“Now I get to take my wife out to dinner on a Saturday for the first time in 28 years,” he wrote. “On to my next act.”
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