Leading off today:
This is most definitely a blog I had hoped would never need to be written, particularly on the eve of our first football rankings of the season.
It's one that I almost wrote two Septembers ago and quite honestly should have written last fall. I hoped against hope at that time that maybe things would change for the better, but then the economy absolutely tanked far worse than anything we've ever seen.
And now those of us carrying the majority of the load for the New York State Sportswriters Association will have to make a decision soon about whether we will be able to continue the weekly eight-page newsletter when our 43rd year of publication wraps up in June.
Membership has declined steadily in the last few years to the point where editor/treasurer Neil Kerr and I have decided that it's simply not worth the endless hours of work required to publish the newsletter. I've lost track of the exact count, but Neil has typed, copied, folded, stuffed amd mailed the newsletter by himself for close to 2,000 issues in a row.
The job would seem to be easier now in the computer/Internet era, especially with membership as of this week down more than 70 percent from our all-time high -- which makes for less copying and fewer envelopes to stuff. But with lower circulation comes lower revenue from memberships. And, as newspaper publishers will tell you, the amount of "new" money from a web site does not come close to offsetting what we've lost in subscriptions.
Although the NYSSWA writes a small check at the end of each season to some of the people doing the grunt work on various sports, Neil and I do not get paid for producing the newsletter or web site. In fact, the organization was never more than a break-even proposition until recent years, when Neil has dug into his own pocket to finance