How The Daily Star and other daily newspapers operate has come up in conversation recently with several business and private individuals. It became apparent to me that a lot of people misunderstand or are unclear about just how newspapers go about serving their communities. I thought I would take the opportunity to clarify and maybe enlighten our readers, subscribers and advertisers about our daily operation, with our weekly publication — The Cooperstown Crier — the subject of a future column.
Everyone who works at The Daily Star understands how important a role we all play in our community every day. We are a major local employer with almost 100 employees. Our employees’ salaries and the supplies we purchase from local businesses financially support our local economies.
We are the only manufacturing facility that starts from scratch every day. It takes all of our employees working in concert to get your Daily Star from a blank newsprint page to a completed newspaper delivered to you and online each morning. Here is an overview of The Daily Star operations:
Editorial — This department consists of writers, photographers, a clerk and editors who cover local news in Otsego, Delaware, Schoharie and Chenango counties. These dedicated writers cover meetings and breaking stories and events. Their stories are edited with the highest journalistic standards to ensure accuracy.
Another part of the editorial process is scheduling photographs to go with the stories. Then we put all of this information together and place it onto the pages in print and also on-line.
In addition to being a job, journalism is a profession. It takes skill to write a story, keep one’s ego and opinions out of it and report only the facts — all while being on a deadline. Have you ever written a story or a letter to the editor? For many, it’s not as easy as it seems. I struggle each month with my column. It’s easy to talk and get your points across; it’s another to take the time to write it. Our editor, Sam Pollak, manages the Editorial department.
Advertising — The Daily Star has two departments within Advertising. Classified works with individuals and businesses to place lines in the classified section every day. Retail works with local businesses to place display advertising throughout the newspaper every day. We partner with all of our businesses through needs assessments and help market their goods or services to our readers.
Advertising with The Daily Star is more than just newspapers. We have multiple products, such as our websites, direct mail and print-and-deliver programs. Sean Lewis is our advertising director and manages the advertising department.
Accounting — This department is the financial side of our business — billing customers for their subscriptions, and advertisers for the ads that they have placed in our products. Accounting also processes the payroll of our employees and payables of our bills. Our comptroller, Karen Chichester, manages the accounting department.
Production — Our Composing department designs and builds digital pages and ads that you see every day in our products. This department is managed by Creative Services Manager David Fredette. In our Press Department, The Daily Star is printed on an offset press every day in Oneonta. Press Foreman Kim Hamlin is responsible for this process and department. Information Technologies is responsible for The Daily Star website, E-edition, and all digital products. Chad Ritchko is our IT manager.
Circulation — This is the end of the process that distributes the final and completed Daily Star each day. It starts in our Oneonta distribution center for the print version after midnight as the newspapers come off the press. They are inserted with special sections, comics, etc., and then processed for delivery to our trucks and drivers and carriers.
Our Circulation personnel work with and manage these individuals, who travel more than 3,400 miles a night to distribute the Daily Star to you by 7 each morning. Our website, E-edition and mobile sites are live and updated by 7 a.m. as well. In more than 120 years we have never missed a scheduled publication. Our senior district manager, Sachi West, is responsible for these departments.
Publisher — To quote Harry S. Truman, “The buck stops here.” As the publisher, I am ultimately responsible for all of these departments and employees, all of our products, practices and policies. All of these departments and managers report to me on a daily basis.
Every reader, customer, subscriber and advertiser is important. If and when we make mistakes, we correct them. It’s the right thing to do and a good business practice. All of our employees understand that without our readers, subscribers and advertisers, we would cease to exist. The Daily Star employees and management staff strive every day to put out the best newspaper and products for our readers, subscribers and advertisers. I hope this clarifies some of our structure as a business and who is responsible. As always, we are here to serve.
Mitchell Lynch is publisher of The Daily Star.