Quad closing three plants

Wisconsin-based Quad/Graphics is closing three more commercial printing plants, in Oklahoma City, Nashville, and Fernley, Nevada, Milwaukee Business Journal reported Dec. 18. The closings will affect 650 employees.

Quad pointed to volume declines as behind the closings, the journal said.

Also in 2020, Quad closed plants in Taunton, Massachusetts; Charlotte, North Carolina; Portland, Oregon; and Riverside, California. Those closures resulted in 1,100 job cuts.

Meanwhile, the company is investing $45 million in its upstate New York plant. Quad is installing two manroland eight-unit auto transfer presses, the Albany Business Review reported. The upgrades are happening with the aid of $9 million in incentives from local and state sources, the Milwaukee Business Journal said.

Quad/Graphics closed 4 plants, cut 1,100 jobs

Wisconsin-based Quad/Graphics has closed four plants and cut 1,100 jobs, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported Nov. 6, 2020.

Printing company Quad shuttered plants in Taunton, Massachusetts (in May); and in Charlotte, North Carolina; Portland, Oregon; and Riverside, California (all in February). The drop in employee numbers took place since the start of the year, said the business journal.

The closings were mentioned in Quad’s earnings call on Nov. 4, with the closures helping the company “rightsize our costs to match volumes,” according to Executive Vice President and CFODave Honan.

“Net sales were $679 million in the third quarter, down 28% from 2019. And on a year-to-date basis, net sales were $2.1 billion, down 27%,” Honan said. “Both the quarter and year-to-date variances are primarily due to the economic impact from the pandemic, ongoing print industry volume and pricing pressures, and a 2% impact related to the divestiture of our Omaha packaging facility in January of 2020,” he said in the call, according to a Motley Fool transcript.

Since the pandemic began, Quad saw the largest decline in net sales during the second quarter, as net sales decreased 38%, Honan said.

• The Hartford Courant’s(Connecticut) Broad Street offices will be shuttered at the end of 2020, the paper reported Dec. 4, 2020.

Tribune Publishing owns the paper.

“This is a decision about real estate needs amid a difficult and challenging time on both the public health and economic fronts,” Editor-in-Chief Andrew Julien wrote to employees in an email.

Staff has been working from home since spring, the paper said. The paper announced in the fall that it would be printed in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Tribune Publishing has closed a number of newsrooms, including the Orlando Sentinel and the New York Daily News newsrooms, the Courant pointed out.

From a report on Nov 22, 2020

As media companies make adjustments during the coronavirus pandemic, a slew of relocations, building closures and sales are in the news.

This is nothing new, but the sales have been accelerating of late as staff work at home and the industry faces ongoing pressure. Despite the fact that the trend is not new, the sales are painful for industry participants and watchers, as jobs are lost and the landscape shifts. For some good news, see the Hearst entries at the end of this article.

McClatchy and Gannett are among companies selling property. Gannett has unloaded its BridgeTower Media, W-Systems and SweetIQ units and sold The Inquirer and Mirror (Nantucket, Massachusetts) to 41 North Media.

More recent changes:

• The Kansas City Star is departing from its well-known glass building downtown and will relocate, the paper announced Nov. 10. The Star had sold the building to Ambassador Hospitality last year and had been leasing the space. Printing of the paper will be outsourced, the paper said, staring in 2021. The change in printing will result in 68 full-time and 56 part-time Star production staff losing jobs. McClatchy owns the paper.

• The Idaho Statesman is selling its building on Curtis Road to Cedar Creek Wealth, the paper reported Nov. 2. The building function as storage units, the paper says. McClatchy owns the paper.

• McClatchy has also sold a 56,000-square-foot warehouse in Charlotte, North Carolina, Charlotte Business Journal reported. The facility, at 1001 Pressley Road, went for $5.2 million to Piedmont Land Development under the name CrossPoint Property GroupLoSo, according to county real estate records, the business journal said.

• News Corp plans to shift the printing of several of its publications in New York to a different facility in the city.

Under the change, the publications would be printed at The New York Times’ College Point plant in Queens. This plan would result in the closure of the company’s Bronx Print Plant.

The move may mean up to 400 layoffs, according to the New York Post. The change may not happen until early next year, says the Post.

The Bronx plant produces daily print copies of the Wall Street Journal and The Post, along with Barron’s weekly.

News Corp will be examining options for the future of the plant.

• The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, California) building on North Gene Autry Trail is for sale for $7.5 million, the paper reported Oct. 30. The paper produced its final locally printed edition Sept. 21, as it moved its printing to Phoenix. Gannett owns the paper.

• The St. Augustine Record (Florida) building has been sold to an undisclosed private investor for $7.5 million, the paper reported Nov. 10. The 34,4000-square-foot office/warehouse facility at 1 News Place contains the paper well and other tenants, including USPS distribution center, the paper said. Gannett owns the paper.

• The Star Courier (Kewaunee, Illinois) building has been sold to a Johnson Towing and Recovery, based in Manlius, the paper reported Oct. 29. Gannett owns the paper.

The paper’s staff will operate out of office space inside the building, the paper says.

The Star Courier will go on printing five days a week.

• The Binghamton University Foundation bought a former newspaper printing plant in Johnson City, New York, for $4.5 million, the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin reported in late September. Gannett, which owns the Press & Sun-Bulletin, moved the printing of that paper, the Ithaca Journal and the Elmira Star-Gazette to Rochester in 2018, the Binghamton paper reported. The building has been unoccupied since then.

Binghamton University has been looking for a spot for a library annex, the anticipated role for the site at 10 Gannett Drive, said the paper.

• The Philadelphia Inquirer is shuttering its Montgomery County printing plant and moving production of its papers to Cherry Hill, New Jersey, to an operation owned by Gannett, the paper reported Oct. 9.

Up to 500 people are losing jobs in the move, according to the paper. It’s possible Gannett will hire some of The Inquirer employees, but that’s not guaranteed, according to Lisa Hughes, publisher and chief executive officer of The Inquirer, the paper said.

The cuts represent nearly half of the paper’s staff of 1,073.

The closure of the Schuylkill Printing Plant in Upper Merion Township may come by the end of the year, the paper said. The sale is not yet final, said a memo to staff from Hughes.

The Inquirer is working with a buyer for the 45-acre property. The buyer’s identity was not made public.

The property has a 674,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, opened in 1992.

The change is “is aimed at ensuring the survival of the media company as consumers turn to digital platforms for their news,” said the paper.

• The Hartford Courant announced Oct. 19 that the paper is moving its printing to The Springfield Republican (Massachusetts).

An undisclosed number of jobs will be lost, the paper said.

Tribune Publishing owns the Hartford Courant. Advance Publications owns The Springfield Republican.

• The Salt Lake Tribune announced in late October that it will cease producing a daily print edition and will go to a weekly printed paper delivered through the mail, starting January 2, 2021.

In addition, The Tribune and local rival the Deseret News won’t renew their joint operating agreement, the papers reported. That deal, made in 1952, will end Dec. 31.

Meanwhile in early 2021, the Deseret News will move from daily print delivery to two new printed offerings — a reimagined weekly paper and a new monthly news magazine called Deseret. The Church News will stay a weekly print product. Digital delivery will go on uninterrupted the paper said.

The Deseret News is owned by a subsidiary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Tribune said it doesn’t plan to cut its newsroom staff as part of the change.

Salt Lake Tribune Chairman Paul Huntsman bought that paper in 2016 from Alden Global Capital. The paper got IRS approval to be a non-profit last year.

The printing presses in West Valley City that the two papers share will be “mothballed,” according to a source, says The Tribune.

The almost 160 press operators, carriers and other facility staff will lose their jobs.

• Amazon has bought a printing plant in Santa Ana, California, that had been used by the Orange County Register, the paper reported Oct. 29.

The plant will be knocked down and a distribution center will go up in its place, says the paper.

Amazon paid nearly $63.2 million on Oct. 19 to purchase the facility and nearly 17 acres along the 5 Freeway, said Jack Haley with Lee & Associates, a listing agent for the property.

Real estate developer Michael Harrah, who owned the Register property for several years, remains the owner of the well-known orange building where the paper’s newsroom and ad staff worked since the mid-80s, the paper said. That building is up for sale or lease.

The Register newsroom operates out of a building in Anaheim near the 57 freeway south of Angel Stadium. Digital First Media bought the paper in a bankruptcy auction in 2016.

• Lee Enterprises has put the Globe Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) building on the market, the paper reported.

The news staff will operate out of a new spot in or near downtown Mason City after the building is sold, the paper said.

Cerro Gordo property records put the tax value of the Globe Gazette property at $897,450, says the paper.

The paper is printed at the Des Moines Register facility in Des Moines.

• It's not a closure or a sale, but a relocation. Hearst Newspapers announced Nov. 12 that the San Antonio Express-News will be moving one block to the newly refurbished San Antonio Light building in the first quarter of 2021. Additionally, the San Antonio ExpressNews plans to increase newsroom staffing by 10% in 2021.

• Hearst Magazines, meanwhile, announced in September the launch of Premium Print, am initiative that includes a multimillion dollar investment across its portfolio of more than 25 brands to strengthen its position in the marketplace and enhance the quality of its print products.

The additional investment will improve the product of several Hearst Magazines print properties through new, larger formats, higher-quality paper and improved editorial ratios, says Hearst.

Immediate plans, which build on the enhanced paper quality introduced in Good Housekeeping and House Beautiful earlier this year, include adding up to 10% more editorial pages in Good Housekeeping and additional edit pages and larger trim size to the print editions of Harper’s BAZAAR, ELLE and Road & Track, effective with the brands’ 2021 issues.

The company will also launch a new quarterly publication from Delish next year.


(Published September 21, 2020) News Corp to shift printing

News Corp plans to shift the printing of several of its publications in New York to a different facility in the city.

Under the change, the publications would be printed at The New York Times’ College Point plant in Queens. This plan would result in the closure of the company’s Bronx Print Plant, where the publications are currently printed.

Financial details of the arrangement were not released. The company is negotiating with unions representing workers at the Bronx plant.

The move may mean up to 400 layoffs, according to the New York Post. The change may not happen until early next year, says the Post.

The Bronx plant produces daily print copies of the Journal and The Post, along with Barron’s weekly. All three are also printed in a number of other locations around the country. The Journal and The New York Times are currently printed together at plants in Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Utah and California.

News Corp will be examining options for the future of the plant.

The decision is part of News Corp’s ongoing process of simplifying the structure of the company, which sold its News America Marketing and Unruly businesses within the past year.

• Starting Oct. 12, the Albuquerque Journal and The Santa Fe New Mexican will print their papers at The New Mexican’s production facility, the Albuquerque paper reported Aug. 11, 2020. As many as 70 staff members in the Journal’s printing operation will lose jobs, according to William P. Lang, president of the Journal, the Journal said. 

Journal Publishing Company owns the Albuquerque Journal. Robin Martin owns the Santa Fe New Mexican.

(Published July 27, 2020) Gannett papers move printing

A number of Gannett papers are moving their printing operations.

• Starting Sept. 1, the Gannett-owned Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, Louisiana) will be using the printing services of The Advocate of Baton Rouge, the Lafayette paper reported.

• The Gannett-owned Desert Sun (Palm Springs, California) is taking its print operations to Gannett’s Phoenix facility in September, the paper reported

• The Gannett-owned Progress-Index (Petersburg, Virginia) will shutter its printing press and move its printing to Richmond. Lee Enterprises, which owns the Richmond Times-Dispatch, will be handling the printing starting Sept. 1, the Petersburg paper reported.

MLive Media Group says it will move the printing of its eight papers to Ohio and shutter its printing plant outside of Grand Rapids, MLive reported July 15, 2020. The change will take place Oct. 5.

The printing is moving from a facility in Walker to Cleveland, said Tim Gruber, president and chief revenue officer of MLive Media Group. The Walker building will probably be put on the market, MLive said. The Cleveland plant prints The Plain Dealer. Seventy-one jobs will be lost. The employees will get a severance package, MLive said.

Advance owns MLive and The Plain Dealer.

Another Advance paper, Staten Island Advance and SILive.com, is moving its news operations and print. The building and property on Fingerboard Road in Staten Island will be put on the market and the newsroom will be in a leased space, the paper reported. The printing will happen with other Advance papers in Montville, New Jersey. The paper didn’t say how many jobs would be impacted.

• The Desert Sun (Palm Springs) will move its print operation to Gannett’s Phoenix facility in September, the paper reported July 22, 2020. Gannett owns the paper. The Desert Sun has been printing at the paper's Gene Autry Trail headquarters in Palm Springs since the late 1980s.

Around three dozen employees were cut in the move.

“I personally will miss wandering back to ‘the factory,’ smelling the ink, and watching a stream of newspapers cascade down a conveyor belt to the mailroom floor,” said an online letter from Executive Editor Julie Makinen.

(Published June 29, 2020) Ponderay Newsprint closes

Ponderay Newsprint has closed its paper mill in Usk, Washington, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane) reported.

Ponderay is a partnership between Lake Superior Forest Products, a subsidiary of Quebec-based Resolute Forest Products, and five major U.S. publishers, says the Ponderay website. The mill produces newsprint for publishers along the West Coast and in the Midwestern U.S. and exports to markets in Asia and South America.

The mill opened in 1989. More than 130 people have worked there, according to the Spokesman-Review.

(Published June 1, 2020) Virginian-Pilot moving print; 132 jobs lost

The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) is moving its printing from its Virginia Beach plant to a Richmond Times Dispatch facility, the paper reported May 26, 2020. The move will cut 132 full-time and part-time positions, according to an email to staff from Tribune Publishing executive Par Ridder, the paper said.

Chicago-based Tribune Publishing owns the paper.

The change is set for July, the paper said.

“Because we must find cost savings to mitigate the sharp revenue declines we are experiencing, this is the necessary route,” Ridder wrote. “Going forward, we do not expect ad revenue to return to the same levels from before the pandemic so we must continue operating with reduced overall costs.”

The company plans to sell the property in Virginia Beach, the paper said. The company may get working space in the building, Ridder wrote, the paper said.

In January, Richmond-based developer the Monument Cos. bought the Virginian-Pilot’s headquarters, at 150 W. Brambleton Ave., from Tribune Publishing.

• The former Columbus Dispatch printing plant is for sale at a price of $20 million, Columbus Business First reported April 1, 2020. The paper’s move away from the plant was announced in January.

• The Springfield News-Leader (Missouri) has seen 41 layoffs, but not because of the virus, the Springfield Business Journal reported March 31, 2020. News-Leader Editor Amos Bridges said 41 people were cut because with the shuttering of the paper's press on Boonville Avenue. 

(Published February 24, 2020) Springfield News-Leader moves printing

The Springfield News-Leader (Missouri) is relocating its printing and production from Springfield to a sister facility in Columbia, the paper reported. The facility prints the Columbia Daily Tribune. Both are Gannett papers.

The News-Leader news and advertising teams are staying in Springfield, the paper said.

The move is set to take place at the end of March, the paper said.

The company aims to link workers with area resources to help with looking for new jobs, and opportunities will be extended, if possible, at other company spots, according to the paper.

“As our industry continues to evolve and transform, we are forced to make changes that allow us to be competitive in the future marketplace. This is without a doubt one of the most difficult decisions we’ve had to make to date,” said Allen Jones, upper Midwest regional president. “We must strategically invest in quality, local journalism and the digital experience we provide our readers and business partners.”

• The Rockford Register Star (Illinois) is taking its newspaper printing and production operation from Rockford to a sister facility in Milwaukee, the paper reported Feb 12, 2020. The Register Star news and advertising teams are staying in Rockford.

“This was a difficult decision to make, driven by a broad transformation impacting the newspaper industry,” said Paul Gaier, president and publisher. “With duplicative printing facilities in the area, we are choosing to focus our precious resources on the quality, local journalism our community depends on.”

The Freeport Journal-Standard (Illinois) will also print in Milwaukee. Both will be printed at a facility that prints the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The change is happening in April.

Gannett owns the papers.

• The Bucks County Courier Times (Langhorne, Pennsylvania) is taking its newspaper printing and production from Fairless Hills to sister facilities at the Courier-Post in New Jersey, and The News Journal in Delaware, the Bucks County paper reported Feb. 5, 2020. The Courier Times news and advertising teams are staying in Langhorne, the paper said.

Gannett owns the paper.

The change is set for the end of March.

The paper didn’t say how many jobs would be lost.

“We can’t make a decision like this without deep concern for our affected coworkers,” General Manager Brad Bailey said.

“We are committed to working with them through this difficult transition,” he said.

The facility in the Penn Warner Industrial Park in Fairless Hills was opened in 2004.

• The Times Herald-Record (Middletown, New York) is relocating its newspaper printing and production from the Town of Wallkill to a sister facility in Rockaway, N.J., the paper reported Feb. 5, 2020.

The plant also prints the Daily Record.

Gannett owns the papers.

The move is set for May. Times Herald-Record news and advertising teams will stay in Middletown.

The move will mean earlier deadlines, the paper said.

The Times Herald-Record filed a notice with the New York State Department of Labor in February indicating 94 employees would lose their positions.

“This was an enormously difficult decision, and we regret the impact it will have on our employees,” said Regional Vice President Terry Cascioli. “The individuals who bring our newspaper to life every day are incredibly skilled and dedicated, and this move was in no way a reflection on their work. We are so appreciative of their many, many years of service.”

(Published January 20, 2020) Restoration NewsMedia managing papers

Restoration NewsMedia has made a deal to manage two papers in Illinois, the Wake Weekly reported.

Kathleen Lewis, publisher of the Robinson Daily News and the Daily Record of Lawrenceville, inked a management deal with Restoration NewsMedia in late 2019, Wake Weekly reported.  

Restoration NewsMedia was formed in 2019 by The Wilson Times and The Daily Record, two family newspapers (both in North Carolina). The company was created to allow family-owned newspapers to benefit from the efficiencies of bigger chains, including a consolidated printing center and design hubs, the Johnstonian News (Kenly, North Carolina) said.

Restoration NewsMedia is part of the UNC Knight-Lenfest Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative’s third cohort at the University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism.

“Our newspapers have each been covering their communities for more than 100 years, and we want to make sure they remain strong for 100 more,” Lewis said. “This partnership will help us put the Daily News and Daily Record in the best possible position for the future of local news,” Lewis said.

(Published January 13, 2020) Columbus Dispatch to print in Indianapolis

The Columbus Dispatch is relocating its newspaper printing from Columbus to a facility in Indianapolis, the paper reported.

The March shuttering of the Dispatch printing facility, at 5300 Crosswind Drive, will impact 188 employees, the paper said. The closure won’t change the delivery of the paper. The paper’s news and advertising staffs will stay local, the paper said.

The move follows GateHouse Media’s $1.4 billion purchase of Gannett, which was completed in late 2019. The merged company uses the Gannett name. GateHouse had bought the Dispatch in 2015.

The Gannett-owned Cincinnati Enquirer and Kentucky Enquirer are now being printed in Louisville, the Dispatch said. Those papers had been printed in at the Columbus facility for five years. Various smaller Gannett papers in Ohio are also printed in Indianapolis.

The move means earlier deadlines and a shift to the traditional broadsheet size for the Dispatch and the Enquirer. Both papers had switched to compact formats in the mid-2010s.

(Published January 13, 2020) Herald-Times to print in Indianapolis

The Herald-Times (Bloomington, Indiana) is relocating its newspaper printing and production from Bloomington to a plant in Indianapolis that prints the Indianapolis Star, the paper announced.

The paper’s news and advertising teams will stay in Bloomington.

The move will likely mean some layoffs, but the number has not been set, the paper said.

The change will take place in February.

“This was not an easy decision at all, and in no way a reflection on the dedicated and talented staff that have produced our newspapers for so many years,” said General Manager Larry Hensley. “The financial reality is that we must make these difficult decisions to sustain our future and to continue to be the dominant source of local journalism in our communities we serve.”

GateHouse bought the paper in January 2019. The move follows GateHouse Media’s $1.4 billion purchase of Gannett, which was completed in late 2019. The merged company uses the Gannett name.

(Published January 13, 2020) Seattle Times to cut 42 as it sells plant

The Seattle Times has filed a federal WARN Act notice informing workers that it will cut 42 employees at its North Creek printing plant in Bothell in March, Seattle Business reported.

The daily announced last spring that it would shutter the plant and sell the property to fund news operations. The paper said at the time that around 150 people worked at the plant. Some employees from the North Creek facility were expected to move to the Seattle Times’ plant in Kent, the paper had announced previously.

The Seattle Times’ owners, the Blethen family, sold four properties for $88 million between 2011 and 2013, including the daily’s old newsroom, Seattle Business said.

A sale ad for the Seattle Times North Creek plant from Windemere Commercial said the sale is being managed by Century Pacific at a listing price of $45 million. The ad says the property is a 352,259-square-foot industrial facility on 23.7 acres.