GENEVA — Two veterans of local media are in the news themselves today.
Finger Lakes Times Publisher Mike Cutillo has announced that longtime Times employee Alan Brignall has been promoted to Managing Editor and Beth Kesel is joining the FLT staff as Advertising Director.
Both are effective today, Sept. 27.
“These are two incredibly talented and loyal individuals, one on the editorial side of the operation and one on the sales side,” Cutillo said. “Alan has proven himself in over 30 years at this newspaper, while Beth knows the advertising world inside and out and I’m certain will hit the ground running.”
Brignall, who turns 54 tomorrow, is a 1985 graduate of Waterloo High School and a 1989 graduate of Syracuse University, where he majored in broadcast journalism. He interned for two summers at the Times before joining the staff as a full-time sports writer in September 1989.
He succeeded Cutillo as Sports Editor in 1998 and remained in that role until 2011, when he was named News Editor. He has won numerous AP and New York News Publishers Association awards for writing and most notably for producing the sports department’s highly acclaimed High School Football special section.
“Alan’s been my right-hand man for a long time, first in the sports department and then in news,” Cutillo said “He knows this business, loves this community and will bring great passion to the position of Managing Editor, where he will have more of a say in the day-to-day planning of news coverage and also handle most of the opinion material, including letters to the editor and our local columnists.”
Kesel, who lives in Stanley, is a 1978 graduate of Alfred State College, where she majored in marketing. She began her career in various sales positions at The Saratogian in Saratoga, N.Y., and was the Sales Manager there from 1988-98. Then, from 1998 to 2020, she worked in Canandaigua, first as sales manager for Adnet Community News, then as a sales director for Gatehouse Media, and most recently as General Manager of Messenger Post Newspapers for Gannett.
With Gannett previously at The Saratogian, she was named Sales Executive of the Year in 1980, ‘83, ‘84 and ‘87.
“After over 25 years in the newspaper industry I’m thrilled with the opportunity to be working with the Finger Lakes Times,” Kesel said. “It’s a privilege to work with such a successful group of individuals who care about our local community, and I look forward to contributing to their continued success.”
She succeeds Publisher/Ad Director Mark Lukas, who is moving into a corporate role with the Times‘ ownership group, Community Media Group.
“Wow, are we fortunate to be able to land Beth to lead our sales team,” said Cutillo, who worked with Kesel for five years in Canandaigua. “Behind all the awards and accolades she has accumulated is a true professional with a track record of success and customer satisfaction. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and I’m excited to see the great things she’s going to do for the Finger Lakes Times.”