Outdoor magazine moving to Southern Tier
Since its inception in 2004, New York Outdoor News has had its editorial headquarters in Elizabethtown at the Piatt house.
It looks like that will change this fall when Managing Editor Steve Piatt and his wife, Paula, a long-time associate editor, relocate to Waverly, near the Pennsylvania border. Their new home is about 10 minutes from where he grew up and worked as a reporter.
“I’m a farm boy at heart,” Steve Piatt said. “I guess once a flatlander, always a flatlander.”
The pair is moving for a few reasons, including that Paula took a job with Trout Unlimited’s national staff as an education and outreach coordinator. She will work primarily in the Delaware River basin in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She left the Adirondacks in mid May and no longer holds her position with Outdoor News.
But the move also makes sense for the New York Outdoor News because many of its readers are located in western New York.
“As much as I’m going to miss the Adirondacks, from a business standpoint, it makes some sense,” Steve said. “It’s going to put me more in touch with the bulk of our subscriber base. Right now, I get requests to go out to Rochester and Buffalo, and it’s two days by dogsled up here.”
The New York Outdoors News is a unique and successful publication. It has a circulation that includes 35,000 subscribing customers. It’s also available on the newstand at 1,600 different outlets, Steve said. The publication is geared specifically toward the traditional outdoor pursuits of hunting, fishing and trapping. It contains a mix of hard news and features.
The publication is part of a chain owned by Glenn and Dianne Meyer, who are based in Plymouth, Minn., the company headquarters. The Meyers own seven Outdoor News publications, including ones in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio.
The company has taken advantage of the fact that many newspapers have cut back on their coverage of the outdoors, especially traditional outdoor sports.
“I think the thing that separates us, too, and will always separate us, is our two-week cycle,” Steve said. “(It) really allows us to be a true newspaper and stay on top of the news side of things.”
What is unique about the the organization is that many of its employees, like Steve, work out of their homes. That’s a big change in lifestyle from when he started in the business as a newspaper reporter 35 years ago.
“You’re talking to a guy who is kind of a dinosaur in this business. I started in old lead type days,” he said. “Now to be able to walk down the hall tripping over a couple of Labrador retrievers and put out a statewide newspaper is still pretty mind-boggling.”
Steve doesn’t anticipate that the move will affect the coverage of the Adirondacks. He said he still has a number of strong writers here; plus, he has become very familiar with the area after living here 16 years.
“So many people around the state go to the Adirondacks to hunt and fish, so we’re always gong to give it a fair amount of coverage,” Steve said.
He said the move will only add 30 minutes to his commute to Albany, which he does occasionally to cover meetings such as the Conservation Fund Advisory Board. The drive will now be three hours.
The move is expected to be completed in the fall, sometime after the Outdoors Writers Association of America meets in Lake Placid the weekend of Sept. 14.
“It’s going to be a pretty hectic summer,” Steve said. “I’m not worried about the publication skipping a beat. I’m worried a little bit about my back holding up. We’re going to do it gradually. I think the first U-haul trip will be around Labor Day weekend and we’ll just work around publications.”