About The Daily Gazette
By Bill Buell
Members of The Daily Gazette's management team include Michelle Wright, call center and marketing manager; Randy Lewis, director of digital advertising; Mark Mahoney, editorial page editor; Heather Graham, digital director; Lance Geda, general manager; John DeAugustine, publisher; Miles Reed, managing editor; Judy Patrick, editor; Gary LaBelle, retail sales manager; Paula Opel, director of human relations; Brian Zarelli, director of audience development; Ken Kannaird, vice president of operations (not shown).
Our private, family-owned company is based in Schenectady, New York. We offer a full news report but we specialize in local news coverage, focusing on Schenectady, Saratoga, Fulton, Montgomery Schoharie and Albany counties.
On the marketing side, we offer businesses a range of cutting-edge digital services including search engine optimization, social media management, remarketing and retargeting, website builds, mobile builds, IP targeting, email marketing, native content and online video services.
Following the installation of a new press, we've expanded our commercial printing operation, recently adding the Post-Star in Glens Falls and The Recorder in Amsterdam to the list of publications that roll off our press.
We've also diversified our revenue streams by creating a full-service call center and developing an events business that reaches out into the community.
In our more than 120 years of informing its readers what’s happening in the world, The Daily Gazette has at times made news itself. Who could ever forget photographer Sid Brown’s run-in with gambling figure Paul “Legs” DiCocco in 1951, or the picture of receptionist and editorial assistant Jean Ball arm-in-arm with New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1966.
The Daily Gazette, once known as the Schenectady Gazette, publishes a print edition seven days a week. In recent years, it's also up and running around the clock as a website, and more recently as a social media contributor.
The Gazette embarked on its first online venture in 1996, a free Web site that contained virtually all of the content from each day’s print edition. In 2003, the Gazette created a subscriber-only Web site, and then on Dec. 11, 2007, reverted back to a free Web site that offered some of the print edition’s content. In August of 2009, the Gazette again began charging an access fee for its electronic version and that continues to be the case.
While change hasn’t always come so easily at the Gazette, it has adapted to the changing times. The newspaper was formed in 1894 when the Schenectady Printing Association took over a weekly called the Schenectady Gazette and turned it into a daily, renaming it The Daily Gazette in 1895. Despite two other city newspapers - the Evening Star and the Union — the Gazette was successful under the leadership of Gerardus Smith. Describing itself as “independent in politics,” the Gazette claimed by August of 1895 that it had the largest circulation in Schenectady, selling 3,000 papers a day.
Smith was one of five children belonging to David Cady Smith, the founder of a Schenectady law firm way back in 1837. Gerardus also studied law, but he seemed better suited for life as a banker and businessman, and it was his brother Everett who followed their father into the family’s law practice.
Gerardus became the first president of the renamed Daily Gazette Company in March of 1899, and was followed in that office by Austin N. Liecty in 1917. Earlier, in 1902, the paper bought a new press and began going by the name of its predecessor, the Schenectady Gazette. Liecty, meanwhile, a Smith protege, is the only non-relative to serve as president of the company, his tenure finally coming to an end in 1945. John G. Green, who married Gerardus Smith’s daughter, Eleanor Smith, followed Liecty in the presidency from 1945-64, and then Eleanor served in that capacity from 1965-83, followed by her nephew John E.N. Hume Jr., from 1983-86. His brother David Hume was president from 1986 until 1993, when John’s son, John E.N. (Jack) Hume III, took over the reins. John E.N. Hume III retired from the company in 2013.
It was Liecty who in 1924 oversaw the Gazette purchase the property on State Street it had been renting since 1899, and on Jan. 4, 1926, the newspaper rolled off the presses with a “new look.” There was very little done to the Gazette’s appearance over the next five decades until 1984, when, due to a national change in advertising standards, the newspaper went from eight columns to six.
On Dec. 30, 1989, the newspaper announced it would become the Daily Gazette, reflecting a commitment to regional coverage that began in 1948. The next five years, 1990 to 1995, were also big ones for the newspaper. Along with moving to its current location on Maxon Road Extension, the company purchased a new press, began using color photos, and launched its first Sunday edition (Sept. 9, 1990).
There were also a handful of editorial changes in The Gazette during this era, including the newspaper’s decision in 1980 to stop endorsing political candidates. Also, in 1986 a weekly op-ed page was created, and in that same year a Life and Leisure section appeared to replace the women’s pages.
The Gazette will continue to adapt as long as the industry continues to change.
Ownership of The Gazette remains with the Hume family. Our board includes Elizabeth Hume Lind, chair; William S. Hume, vice chair; Kathleen Murray; Mary Elworth; Michelle Rea; Ken Kissling; Tobi Saulner and William G. McKendree.
Publisher John DeAugustine is company president. Judy Patrick is vice president, Lance Geda is treasurer and Paula Opel is secretary.