06/12/14 8:37pm
06/12/2014 8:37 PM
The News-Review Athletes of the Year for 2013-14 are: (from left) Riverhead's Ryan Hubbard and Carolyn Carrera, Aimee Manfredo of Shoreham-Wading River and McGann-Mercy's Luis Cintron and Meg Tuthill. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

The News-Review Athletes of the Year for 2013-14 are: (from left) Riverhead’s Ryan Hubbard and Carolyn Carrera, Aimee Manfredo of Shoreham-Wading River and McGann-Mercy’s Luis Cintron and Meg Tuthill. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

Mattituck High School senior Shannon Dwyer and Riverhead High School senior Carolyn Carrera were repeat winners when Times/Review Newsgroup presented its athlete of the year awards for the 30th consecutive year on Thursday evening.

Both are three-sport athletes. Dwyer played volleyball, basketball and competed in track and field. Carrera’s sports were soccer, basketball and lacrosse. This is the second year in a row of winning the award for both of them. Carrera was a co-winner last year with Shanice Allen. (more…)

05/16/14 3:10pm
05/16/2014 3:10 PM
Times/Review Newsgroup's headquarters on Main Road in Mattituck. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Times/Review Newsgroup’s headquarters on Main Road in Mattituck. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

The former editor of The Suffolk Times has filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the newspaper’s parent company, claiming the news organization fired him last July because of his age, according to a federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

In the suit, filed in U.S. District Court, Tim Kelly, 60, alleges that the newspaper’s executive editor, Grant Parpan, and publisher, Andrew Olsen, fired him based on “their prejudice against older workers in general, and [Mr.] Kelly in particular.”

Mr. Kelly — who had been editor of The Suffolk Times for four years at the time of his firing and had worked for the company on and off for a total of 15 years — was 59 years old when he was dismissed.

“[The] newspaper’s wrongful termination of [Mr.] Kelly based upon his age after so many years of faithful service and without basis is shocking and should be punished,” the lawsuit asserts.

One basis for the suit alleges that the company “caused the termination” of other employees in Mr. Kelly’s age range by “creating negative working conditions and/or cutting hours and benefits” and replaced them with workers under the age of 40.

Mr. Olsen defended the company’s human resources practices on Thursday.

“Times/Review is committed to being an equal opportunity employer,” he said. “Staffing decisions within the company are not based on race, gender, age or any other similar characteristic. Rather, all such decisions are based upon the business needs of the company.”

In the suit, Mr. Kelly pointed to past accolades he had won personally, and that the paper had won under his tenure, as evidence that his “work was always of excellent quality.” The claim states that Mr. Parpan was promoted to executive editor over Mr. Kelly in July 2012 “despite the much greater knowledge, experience, and education of [Mr.] Kelly.”

Mr. Parpan, who previously served as editor of Times/Review’s North Shore Sun for three years and later as the company’s web editor, declined to comment on the suit, referring questions to attorneys for Times/Review Newsgroup.

“All allegations about the lawsuit are denied in their entirety,” said Matthew Wolin, an attorney representing Times/Review.

Before his most recent stint with Times/Review, Mr. Kelly served for three years as public relations director for Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, according to the lawsuit. He also previously worked as a press secretary for former congressman William Carney and as editor of the Traveler-Watchman newspaper.

Mr. Kelly said Mr. Parpan, 35, had called him an “old man” in the year before his firing, according to the lawsuit. The suit further alleges that although Mr. Kelly was informed of issues related to his performance a month before his firing, those “purported issues were entirely false.”

In July, Mr. Parpan and Mr. Olsen told Mr. Kelly that the company was “going in another direction” and that he was being fired, according to the suit.

Shortly thereafter, court papers state, Mr. Olsen told Mr. Kelly his position had been eliminated, that his firing met “business needs” and that he was dismissed based on “performance issues.”

The lawsuit states Mr. Kelly is seeking $3 million for each of his three claims, alleging that he suffered economic harm and “anguish, embarrassment, suffering and humiliation.”

Given that the Times/Review is a party to this lawsuit, it was determined that it would not be appropriate for the Times/Review staff to reach out directly to Mr. Kelly or his lawyer for comment.

psquire@timesreview.com

12/25/13 12:00am
12/25/2013 12:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Happy Holidays from the staff at Times/Review Newsgroup.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Happy Holidays from the staff at Times/Review Newsgroup.

The Times/Review Newsgroup, publishers of the Riverhead News-Review, The Suffolk Times, Shelter Island Reporter, Long Island Wine Press and Northforker.com would like to wish you a Merry Christmas today and a Happy New Year.

Pictured in our staff photo are:

Front Row (left to right): Carrie Miller, health and environment reporter (2013); Melanie Drozd, circulation manager (2008); Danielle Doll, staff artist (2012); Kim Volinski, classified rep (2013); Claire Jacobs, circulation rep (2013); Lori Miller, business manager (2010); Jennifer Gustavson, education reporter (2010); Sonja Reinholt Derr, sales and marketing director (2010); Rachel Young, business reporter (2013).

Middle Row (left to right): Andrew Olsen, publisher (2001); Tracey Doubrava, display sales coordinator (2012); Maria Gennaro, editorial production assistant (2013); Decia Fates, copy chief (1997); Cyndi Murray, government reporter (2013); Laura Huber, editorial assistant (2001); Lee Peters, special projects editor (2010); Karen Cullen, classified manager (2003); Liz Person, sales executive (2012); Candice Schott, web advertising manager (2005); Lauren Sisson, senior associate editor (1985).

Top Row (left to right): Eric Hod, production manager (2007); Erica Brower, sales executive (2012); Joseph Pinciaro, managing editor (2013); Ray Fedynak, staff artist (2002); Bert Vogel, advertising production manager (1993); Jill Johnson, copy editor (2005); Don Kirby, collections manager (2006); Bill Peters, sales executive (2001); Grant Parpan, executive editor (2006); Karen Kine, office manager (2007); Matt Kapelas, northforker.com editor (2013); Joe Werkmeister, web editor (2006); Tim Gannon, government reporter (1996); Paul Squire, police reporter (2012); Bob Liepa, sports editor (1992).

09/30/13 2:30pm
09/30/2013 2:30 PM

Andrew Olsen

Times/Review Newsgroup publisher Andrew Olsen began his yearlong term as president of the New York Press Association’s board of directors last week.

As president, Mr. Olsen said, he will continue training and guidance for publishers across New York state to “help increase their level of journalistic excellence.” He also plans along with the board to create a human resources hotline that any employee of NYPA’s 761 member newspapers will be able to call for help or guidance with a work-related issue.

“I’ve been active on the NYPA board for years and have always found that you get out of an organization what you put into it,” Mr. Olsen said. “Much of the success within my company is tied in some way to training, ideas or other resources provided by NYPA.”

Mr. Olsen, 43, became co-publisher of Times/Review Newsgroup in May 2003, when Joan and Troy Gustavson, the parents of Mr. Olsen’s wife, Sarah, retired as co-publishers. Mr. Olsen was named sole publisher in 2009 and ownership of the company was transferred to the Olsens in January. He has served on NYPA’s board of directors for about 10 years.

The Gustavsons had owned Times/Review Newsgroup, formerly known as Times/Review Newspapers, since 1977. Times/Review publishes The Suffolk Times, Riverhead News-Review, The Shelter Island Reporter, Long Island Wine Press, numerous tourism and special-interest magazines and the websites associated with those publications — including northforker.com, a lifestyle, travel and leisure blog launched in May.

“I have a strong management team here at Times/Review, which will help me actively participate in board and association responsibilities,” Mr. Olsen said. “We have a very engaged and talented board that is striving to do great things over the next year.”

NYPA executive director Michelle Rea said she’s looking forward to working with Mr. Olsen during his one-year term.

“We’re always looking for leadership that’s going to make the newspaper industry sustainable and take us to the next place that we’re going,” she said. “I think Andrew leading the helm sets a good example for newspaper publishers across the state. He’ll help guide NYPA so that we can provide the right kind of services to newspapers.”

A Cutchogue resident, Mr. Olsen is a graduate of Southold High School and the University of Richmond (Va.). Before joining Times/Review, he was a vice president at Lowe, Lintas & Partners, an advertising agency in New York City. He is a former chairman of the East Marion Fire Department and recently transferred to the Cutchogue Fire Department. He also coaches youth baseball and basketball on the North Fork. Earlier this month, he was elected to the board of directors of East End Arts in Riverhead.

According to its website, NYPA was founded in 1853 to help publishers of small newspapers meet the needs of their communities more effectively by providing better information for their readers. Its membership includes 727 weekly community newspapers, 58 dailies and 147 culturally specific newspapers.

ryoung@timesreview.com

09/28/13 2:30pm
09/28/2013 2:30 PM

Joseph Pinciaro

Joseph Pinciaro joined Times/Review Newsgroup last week as managing editor.

In the new role, Mr. Pinciaro will work with fellow editors and staff reporters to integrate the company’s print and web platforms, as well as coordinate coverage among the company’s various publications. He’ll help manage Times/Review’s staff of reporters, edit stories and contribute to the company’s print publications and 24-7 news websites.

“Joe is a guy whose work we’ve respected for a number of years now,” said Times/Review executive editor Grant Parpan. “We’re excited to have him on our team.”

Mr. Pinciaro most recently comes from Patch.com, a group of local news websites for which he began working in 2010. He served as local editor of the Riverhead site from its launch in 2010 until mid-2011, when he was promoted to the position of associate regional editor. During his time at Patch, he worked throughout central and eastern Suffolk County.

“His experience and understanding of the web only helps to strengthen our ability to deliver the news to our readers in a timely manner across multiple platforms,” said Times/Review publisher Andrew Olsen.

A Massachusetts native, Mr. Pinciaro moved to Greenport in 2009 to work for the startup news website Northfork.com before relocating to Riverhead in 2010. He started in journalism at his college newspaper, the Saint Anselm Crier, before going on to work as a sports correspondent with the Daily News Transcript (Norwood, Mass.).

Mr. Pinciaro earned a degree in print and multimedia journalism from Emerson College and, while attending school, worked as a web editor for BreakingNews.com and later with GlobalPost.com before their launch in January 2009.

He and his wife, Ashley, a children’s minister at North Shore Christian Church, recently bought a home in Wading River.

Readers interested in contacting Mr. Pinciaro can reach him at: jpinciaro@timesreview.com or 631-354-8024.

06/01/13 7:00am
06/01/2013 7:00 AM

Loading up the Times/Review van.

As someone who grew up around newspapers, I was always fascinated by how they’d get to your doorstep each day.

I can remember as a young kid watching with wonder as my father — who was a graphic artist at Newsday — would draw an ad from scratch with his hand. The next morning, I’d flip the pages until I found his work in the paper.

I’d love to watch the presses run whenever the old man would take me to work with him. And as we’d walk the hallways, I’d stare at all the strangers we’d pass and wonder what role they played in the daily miracle, how they did it and why.

My fascination with how it all works hasn’t exactly declined over the years. In fact, as we keep our websites constantly moving seven days a week, on top of producing weekly newspapers here at Times/Review, I’m more amazed than ever before.

Our staff roster lists 57 employees, including more than 40 residents of the three towns we cover, each of whom plays a unique role in making sure our stories and ads get produced, packaged and delivered accurately and on time.

As executive editor, I meet several times a month with the managers of the other key areas of our company — sales and marketing, production and business — to discuss ongoing projects and to plan for the future. In these meetings, I constantly hear stories of how one of our staffers went above and beyond to make sure our product, a labor of love for all of us, was produced with the utmost quality.

Even though our circulation manager, Melanie Drozd, a Riverhead High School graduate and resident of Wading River, is here at 8:30 every morning to perform her regular duties, she often gets stuck driving our delivery truck. I rode shotgun on a recent Wednesday night to see how she does it.

It’s a grind. She drives to the printing plant in Shirley, loads the pallets onto the truck and drives for several hours, stopping and going, until the papers are dropped at each and every store that sells them.

In the form of awards and others’ praise, my staff of reporters and editors usually gets a lot of the credit for the good work our company does. But when someone doesn’t agree with us, it’s usually Melanie and her circulation staff who have to handle the complaint.

As I drove the route with Melanie last month, I got a sense of why she does it. She loves Riverhead. It’s in her blood. It’s where she was born and raised, and where her parents and grandparents have lived and worked, too.

She had a story to tell about many of the places along the route. “My grandpa once owned this place,” she said. “I can remember coming here as a kid.”

Laura Huber, a Mattituck native who lives in Aquebogue, recently joined our editorial staff as an editorial assistant. Dollars to doughnuts she produced more words in this week’s paper than anyone else and her byline doesn’t appear. The obits, the calendar, many of the briefs — that’s her work.

Though she only recently moved to a desk in our newsroom, Laura has been a key cog in the Times/Review machine since she was first hired full-time in 2001. She previously held roles managing circulation and later social media for our company. Before all that, she was an unpaid intern here.

And while a dozen years sounds like an awful long time, it’s nowhere near the top of our seniority list here. Lauren Sisson of Mattituck and Tina Volinski of Greenport started working here in the 1980s. Tim Kelly of Cutchogue, Tim Gannon of Hampton Bays, Archer Brown of Shelter Island, Decia Fates of Greenport, Bob Liepa of Center Moriches and Barbaraellen Koch and Bert Vogel of Riverhead all began their careers here in the ’90s. (Bob Liepa has become such a known figure covering sports for us, I once witnessed the Mattituck crowd chanting his name at a championship basketball game.)

I’ve been with Times/Review since February 2006, and 25 of our employees have worked here longer than I have.

I can still recall the feeling of comfort and familiarity I felt driving to our former satellite office in Wading River, just two miles from the house where I grew up, for an interview before I was hired.

I’d imagine that feeling is similar to the one so many of my coworkers feel as they drive past the local vineyards, farm stands and boutiques on their way to our office in Mattituck.

Every now and then, when you slow down and look around, you can feel it. You’re home.

gparpan@timesreview.com

01/03/13 8:02am
01/03/2013 8:02 AM
Times/Review Newsgroup, Troy Gustavson, Andrew Olsen

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Times/Review Newsgroup owners Andrew and Sarah Olsen

Ownership of Times/Review Newsgroup of Mattituck was transferred recently from Joan and Troy Gustavson of Orient to their daughter, Sarah Olsen, and her husband, Andrew Olsen, of Cutchogue.

Mr. Olsen, the president-elect of the New York Press Association board of directors, became a co-publisher of the company in May 2003 when the Gustavsons retired as co-publishers. He was named sole publisher in 2009.

The Gustavsons had owned the company, formerly known as Times/Review Newspapers, since 1977. Times/Review publishes The Suffolk Times, Riverhead News-Review, The Shelter Island Reporter, Long Island Wine Press, numerous tourism and special-interest magazines, and the websites associated with those publications.

“We feel blessed to be in a position to keep Times/Review in the family,” Mr. Gustavson said in a statement. “Publishing these papers for the past 35 years has been a privilege and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of ours, and fortunately that dream is shared by Sarah and Andrew.

“We are absolutely confident that the company, and its publications, are in the best possible hands.”

TROY GUSTAVSON COLUMN: KEEPING IT ALL IN THE FAMILY

Mr. Olsen, 42, is a graduate of Southold High School and the University of Richmond (Va.). Before joining Times/Review, he was a vice president of Lowe, Lintas & Partners, an advertising agency in New York City. He is a former chairman of the East Marion Fire Department and recently transferred to the Cutchogue Fire Department. He also coaches youth baseball and basketball on the North Fork.

Ms. Olsen, 41, is a graduate of Greenport High School and Boston (Mass.) University. She was promotion director of Food and Wine Magazine in New York City before she stopped working to raise their two children, Tyler, 11, and Emma, 9. She works on the editorial side of Times/Review’s special publications.

“We are incredibly honored to build on the foundation established by Joan and Troy,” Mr. Olsen said in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to provide our readers and advertisers with the most compelling community news content across print and digital platforms.

“We’re confident our talented staff will continue to do this like no one else.”

gparpan@timesreview.com 

01/03/13 8:01am

JUDY AHRENS FILE PHOTO | Troy and Joan Gustavson outside the original Suffolk Times building in the late 1970s.

If you have not already perused this week’s business news section, let me be the first to inform you that this week marks a changing of the guard at Times/Review NewsGroup.

Effective with the new year, the former Joan Giger Walker and I have transferred ownership of the company and the three community newspapers it publishes — The Suffolk Times, The Riverhead News-Review and The Shelter Island Reporter — to our daughter, Sarah Olsen, and her husband, Andrew Olsen, who has served as publisher since Joan and I stepped down as co-publishers in 2003.

This is, as you might imagine, a bittersweet time for the Gustavsons. We purchased the business from the Dorman family in November of 1977, and our 35 years as owners have been the fulfillment of a lifelong dream that began when I “published” The Coolidge Place Gazette as a 10-year-old in Hackensack, N.J. So this is the end of an era, and that’s the bitter part.

The sweet part is that Times/Review will remain in our family for the foreseeable future. Sarah and Andrew are ready, willing and able to take the helm, and Joan and I are confident that they and their amazing staff will continue to produce high-quality, prize-winning newspapers and websites.

You can assess the Olsens’ qualifications for yourself in the aforementioned business story, but here’s one most people are unaware of: Back in the late ’80s, before they were married, Sarah and Andrew were co-editors of The Quill, the newspaper jointly published by students from Greenport and Southold high schools. (Sarah went to Greenport, Andrew to Southold.) So, you see, they’ve had newspapering in their blood for a long time, too.

On Jan. 5, 1978, as the new owners we published an editorial under a headline that read: “What We Stand For.” It appeared in both The Suffolk Times and The News-Review, and the sentiments expressed applied once again when we acquired the Shelter Island paper some 20 years later. We’ll leave it up to you, dear reader, to decide if those promises were fulfilled or not, as follows:

“The changing of the guard at The Suffolk Times hopefully will be taken for what it is: a natural evolution. Newspapers are bigger than their owners, and The Times will be here for a long time after we’ve all played out our part in its life.

“Nevertheless, the community has a right to know what we stand for. And that will be up to you — our readers — to determine over a period of time. What follows is offered to help you keep score in the months and years ahead.

“We stand for truth. The truth will always be our guiding light.

“We stand for excellence. There is always room for improvement, but we intend to build upon the record of excellence that has become the standard at the Times.

“We stand for fairness. If we fail to be even-handed in our reporting and editorial policy, we hope it will be merely because we are human and not in the business of grinding axes.

“We stand for self-determination. The right of the individual to determine his own fate — beyond the influence of outside forces — is supreme in our eyes. And that goes for outside forces who would overdevelop our diminishing farmland, supply power to points west by despoiling the North Fork’s natural resources and endangering its people, or bring interstate ferry service to a village that has serious reservations about that service.

“We stand for non-partisanship. It doesn’t matter to us whether someone is a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent. Honesty, integrity and performance are what matter.

“That is what we stand for. Now it’s up to you to determine whether we live up to our word.”

tgustavson@timesreview.com