When David Abramowitz started his first day with The Paper, the Queens Chronicle’s predecessor, in January 1984, the publication’s reach was far more limited. At that time, The Paper was solely focused on South Queens and Abramowitz was hired as a sales manager assigned to Jamaica and 101st avenues.
Now, nearly 30 years, eight editions and one award-winning website later, “Dave” — as he is known around the office — has retired, ending his time at the Queens Chronicle last Thursday while reflecting on the past three decades. He also has a message to both sales representatives and businesses. It comes from the words of automobile magnate Henry Ford and was written on a Post-it note Dave kept on his desk;
“The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time.”
Advertising in local newspapers is as important now as it was when Dave stepped into the five-and-dimes and local eateries on 101st Avenue in 1984.
“There are two reasons to place ads: to make money and fear of losing money to the competition,” Dave said. “That is still true today.”
He said there were notable examples of establishments that told him they preferred getting business through word of mouth and have gone under. Those businesses, he said, relied on a constant consumer base, but when the neighborhoods changed, their longtime customers left, and without ads, they couldn’t attract new ones.
Dave’s history with this publication chronicles — every pun intended — its rise from a small, local paper focused on southern Queens to a borough-wide entity. Dave remembered fondly the street fairs on 101st Avenue and reminisced on helping the newspaper grow beyond its South Queens beginnings.
It was Dave who walked Queens Boulevard when the Chronicle announced it would open its Central edition. It was Dave who walked Northern Boulevard when the Chronicle expanded to Flushing.
For Dave, “the honesty factor” is key. He said he once was told by a few potential advertisers that other publications had higher circulations, but while he was able to prove the Chronicle’s numbers, the others were not.
“Honesty has always been a big thing with me,” he said.
That’s just one of the many traits his colleagues at the office will miss.
“Dave always has a story to make you smile,” said Jan Schulman, the Queens Chronicle’s art director.
“Dave is an excellent, productive salesperson and a great friend and colleague,” said Raymond Sito, the Chronicle’s general manager. “No one can fill the void he leaves behind. He will be missed.”
“Dave has been a loyal, dedicated employee,” said Mark Weidler, the publisher. “He always did everything ever asked of him. I will certainly miss him but wish him well in his next stage of life.”
“Without you, there probably wouldn’t have been a Queens Chronicle,” the paper’s founders, Susan and Stanley Merzon, said in a message to Dave. “You came along at exactly the right time and throughout the years have proven to be the most valuable asset the Chronicle has. You will be sorely missed but we wish you the happiest of retirements. Good Luck! You’ve earned it!”