In yet another desperate attempt to imitate their crosstown rival, the esteemed journal you now hold in your hands, the corporate moguls who own the Syracuse Post-Standard announced last week that they will end daily publication and that the newspaper will instead appear on your doorstep and on newsstands thrice weekly, effective Jan. 1, 2013.
The news came as no surprise to the wizards of West Genesee Street, where the Syracuse New Times offices reside. “They’ve been eyeing us jealously for quite some time,” said publisher Bill Brod, sporting a pale blue golf shirt with a Spinnaker logo on the breast pocket, as he commented on the demi-demise of the city’s last daily paper.
“I know they were dying to go weekly,” added Brod, now the proud owner of the Salt City’s only Wednesday journal. “They just didn’t have the balls. I see this as kind of a half-measure, an attempt to save face.”
While some saw only hardship for many senior citizens and lost opportunity for those who produce and deliver printed news, others were quick to seize on the opportunity to conduct public business away from the prying eye of the fourth estate.
County Executive Joanie Mahoney immediately appointed her four children to run Lights on the Lake.
Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler announced that all police officers could take their cars home with them—but only on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
City Auditor Marty Masterpole, reached at 10:45 a.m. on his way to lunch at the Blue Tusk, appeared visibly relieved at the 57 percent decrease in press attention. “I mean, this means four fewer days each week that I can do no audits. Up until now, the pressure has been intense. It’s like, seven days a week knowing that they could be noticing that I wasn’t doing audits. But hey—not doing my job three days a week? Piece of cake.”
The world of sports was not immune to the changes, and the Syracuse Chiefs announced that their home games would commence with the first inning, skip to the third and conclude in the fifth. Beginning next year the New York State Fair will open on a Thursday, close down for two days, reopen on Sunday and Tuesday. Fair officials consoled disappointed traditionalists with a promise to make both the butter sculpture and the bacon-fried ice cream delights available digitally.
As nervous Post-Standard employees stood by waiting to learn their fate, a prayer vigil was organized at Destiny USA by a group of consumers praying that the storm engulfing Clinton Square might spare their beloved Bob Niedt. “How will we know where to shop?” said Cicero resident Gina Biggolatta. “Bob always knows when the new Gap for Kids is going to open, when Wendy’s is adding a new topping to the cheeseburgers—we’d be lost without him.” As of press time Syracuse media officials had not commented on Niedt’s status.
The decision would have, of course, important implications for the weather. “Weather events are notorious headline hogs,” said distraught meteorologist Wayne Mahar, cuddling a neighbor’s labradoodle for comfort. “Now each lake effect snowstorm is going to try to back up into Canada and wait so it can hit us on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday so it can get better coverage. No heat wave or snowstorm is going to want to reach town on a day with no paper.”
Elsewhere in town, residents struggled to comprehend the impact of the news. Fourteen-year-old Ezequiel Chambers was riding his bike outside the Southwest Community Center when he was told that after 123 years Syracuse would no longer have a daily newspaper. The news left him reeling. “They been putting out a paper every day?” Zeke asked incredulously, checking his phone to see if it was true. As nobody he was following on Twitter had mentioned it, he remained skeptical.
“Really? That’s fucked up man. Really—a newspaper? People read that shit? Every day?” He biked away.
Across the county, nervous trees heaved a sigh of relief. Bernie Fine, too.