There’s a small statue of a paperboy inside Stephen A. Rogers’ plush corner office overlooking Clinton Square in downtown Syracuse. In his right hand, the paperboy holds a colorful miniature newspaper, while in his left arm he holds a real $1 bill, folded up and stuffed in place. It’s a perfect parody of the economic realities of the newspaper industry — long held by many as a public service, but still very much subject to market concerns. And it’s a situation that Rogers, the Syracuse Post-Standard’s publisher since 1980, assesses with blunt certitude.
“I used to teach at the Newhouse school, and I would say the very first day, ‘What’s the most important thing a newspaper can do?’ I would hear these great answers: raise hell, protect the poor,” said Rogers on a recent brisk December afternoon. “The most important thing a newspaper can do is make money, because if you’re not solvent you can’t do a god-damn thing. Read more