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Editor’s Note: Team mattered more than ever in 2020

Editor’s Note is a weekly column by News Director Josh Durso. Look for it each Sunday exclusively on Check out more of them by clicking here.

There are a lot of faces that make up the team. Some of them you don’t see as often, but are just as important. This year has been a testament to hard work and diverse coverage. While the Coronavirus Pandemic has taken center stage for a lot of readers — our coverage of other important topics is what has stood out. 

As we approach the end of 2020, and round out the Thanksgiving weekend — I thought it would be fitting to publish an update on what we’re grateful to have, and bring to readers, listeners, and viewers every single day on the Digital Media platform.

See, we are a lot of things to a lot of different people. Over the last two years, we have been visited more than 50 million times. Some of you may scan our homepage a few times a day to stay up-to-date with the latest news, weather, sports, and lifestyle news from around the region. Others may listen to our audio podcasts and deep-dives into news topics like The Daily Debrief. Then some of you may check out our exclusive webcasts, which include FLX Weekly, The Weekend Debrief, or FL1 Sports Podcast featuring local newsmakers, entrepreneurs, and high school athletes.

Last week in my first Editor’s Note column, I mentioned the concerns we had as an organization with COVID-19 dominating the newscycle. By now everyone knows what ‘COVID fatigue’ is all about, and at some point this year — have probably experienced some form of it.

We wanted to cut through it. And thanks to a remarkable team effort we did just that.

There was Gabe Pietrorazio’s reporting in the spring and summer on the Cayuga Nation conflict, in-depth investigative series on Elm Manor and Ontario Center nursing homes during the pandemic, and his fall coverage from Washington D.C. on President Trump’s battle with COVID-19, President-elect Joe Biden being declared the winner, the ‘MAGA Million’ March, Breonna Taylor, and U.S. Supreme Court.

There was Todd Elzey’s tireless reporting, which kept up with Geneva City Council, Canandaigua City Council, and the Ontario County Board of Supervisors. In particular, his work covering Geneva’s effort to develop a Police Accountability Board has filled a void in regional media. Geneva City Council’s marathon sessions, which often last hours, have received as much coverage attention as any governing body in the region. The moment demanded it. The community deserved it.

There was Peter Mantius’ work covering environmental issues in Upstate New York. His contributions to the region this year alone — providing in-depth coverage of Greenidge Generation’s move into bitcoin mining, harmful algal blooms on the region’s lakes, and new landfill-related issues this year have made our readers better informed by a significant margin. It’s also easy to forget that there were major plans to construct a large waste composting facility in Wayne County this year. A Flushing-based company planned on developing a composting facility that would have brought massive amounts of New York City sludge to Wayne County. His coverage helped ensure residents’ voices were heard.

We also can’t forget about Kyle Evans, who covers local high school, college, and professional sports. Whether it was the latest Syracuse basketball, football, or lacrosse game — keeping the Wayne-Finger Lakes High School basketball nightly recap board up-to-date, or the latest stories about changes to institutions like the Auburn Doubledays or Rochester Red Wings — he stayed on top of it all. He was also the reason Yankees and Mets fans could keep up on the latest team news and get results and recaps from every single game. Kyle also makes sure the Buffalo Bills faithful have all the info they need each game week and instant results and media from every Bills win (they’ve mostly been wins this season).

When people think of’s live-stream product the first thing that (often) comes to mind is high school basketball. But it’s so much more than that. This year because of the pandemic, we streamed events for the community including a ribbon cutting ceremony in Wayne County, as well as a number of high school graduation ceremonies. The team that makes all of those events possible is big, but wouldn’t be possible without Jason Hunt, Jeremy Hunt, Jake Robinson, and many others. This year even included launching a live-stream product for high school soccer, as crowd-sizes were limited this fall.

There were plenty of other people — some of which are new faces to the team — who will be having the same kind of impact on our product as we move forward. We’re excited about what that means for our readers, listeners, and viewers. Throughout the month of December we’ll be publishing a list of our most important coverage from 2020. We’ll also be publishing highlights from our reporters and contributors, too. 

Above all though, we’re grateful to the folks who make a part of their lives. Your loyalty is part of what has kept us growing, thriving, and striving for more each-and-every day. So, thank you to our team of loyal readers, listeners, and viewers. This is a community that has grown into something that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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Categories: News