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What you need to know for 04/24/2017

Amsterdam Recorder's new owner: ‘We plan on growing’

Amsterdam Recorder's new owner: ‘We plan on growing’

The head of a Schenectady-based printing firm expects to infuse new energy into Amsterdam with the p

The head of a Schenectady-based printing firm expects to infuse new energy into Amsterdam with the purchase of the Amsterdam Recorder and its sister publications.

Benchemark Printing, located on on Maxon Road Extension, created Port Jackson Media LLC and last week bought the Recorder along with its four weekly newspapers: the Sacandaga Express, Courier Standard-Enterprise, Hamilton County Express and Adirondack Express.

The purchase comes roughly a year after the Recorder’s former owner, William J. Kline & Son Inc., put its 26,700-square-foot facility up for sale in Amsterdam.

Apparently suffering the same difficulties faced by most of print journalism in the digital age, the company was behind on its taxes and its staff had dwindled over the past several years.

In 2010, the Recorder stopped printing its Sunday edition after about 20 years. Instead, the company’s carriers began bringing the Albany Times Union to customers’ doorsteps on Sundays.

Benchemark owner Bob Kosineski Sr., who lives in Amsterdam, said Monday that he and his sons, Brian and Bob Jr., intend to reverse the downsizing and infuse investment into his hometown newspaper.

“We’re going to be trying to improve it,” said Kosineski, who said the company — which has been in the printing business for the past 28 years — plans to buy some additional color units to print the entire Recorder in color.

“We plan on growing it. We didn’t buy this as a write-off,” he said.

The Recorder will be looking to add news and advertising staff, he added.

“Myself, I think it’s good for Amsterdam. I don’t want to sell newspapers in Schenectady. That’s not our market. We want to sell our newspapers in Amsterdam, and I know in Amsterdam there is enough room for both of us,” he said, referring to The Daily Gazette, which operates a bureau office in Amsterdam.

Covering news in Montgomery and Fulton counties, the Recorder dates to 1878.

All current staff at the newspaper — about 40 — will be retained, and upgrades are planned for the Venner Road facility that serves as the Recorder’s headquarters, Kosineski said.

He said that despite changes brought on by digital advancements, he believes many still want to feel the newspaper in their hands — as he does. He said many younger generations get news on their electronic devices, and he does the same.

“Still, when I get home at night I want to read the newspaper. I want to pick it up and put it in my hands,” he said.

Recorder editor Kevin McClary said in an email Monday that Wm. J. Kline & Son Inc. has been entertaining offers for several years and sought local ownership. He said the new owners are seen as “a perfect fit.”

“In addition to bringing a new energy into the operation, they are bringing the commercial printing expertise and the product offerings of Benchemark Printing to the table,” McClary said.

“Readers and advertisers can only benefit from the new ownership. Management and current employees stayed on with the change and future plans include beefing up the news staff to increase coverage in the region,” McClary said.

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