February 3, 2021

Two more local newsrooms will get printed by another company in another city. On Tuesday, Josh Shaffer reported for The (Raleigh, North Carolina) News & Observer that that paper and the (Durham, North Carolina) Herald-Sun will stop print production.

The two McClatchy papers will outsource to Fayetteville, North Carolina. The change will cost 48 full-time jobs and 33 part-time jobs.

Also on Tuesday, The Philadelphia Inquirer announced the sale of its printing plant, which will result in the loss of 500 jobs. The Inquirer, owned by the Lenfest Institute, will outsource that work to another Gannett newspaper.

Newspapers have been closing printing plants for years, but we saw more than a dozen last year as the pandemic bludgeoned all media, including local news. A few of those newsrooms closing their plants are outsourcing to plants owned by Gannett — the largest newspaper chain in the U.S. — including the Tampa Bay Times, which Poynter owns, and McClatchy’s The Kansas City Star.

Gannett is also closing some of its own plants, including The (Louisville, Kentucky) Courier-Journal, The Jackson (Tennessee) Sun and The Memphis (Tennessee) Commercial Appeal. Gannett’s doing a bit of outsourcing, too, closing the plant of The (Eugene, Oregon) Register-Guard and sending that work to the Vancouver, Washington-based Columbian Publishing Company.

Since last year, we count more than 1,700 jobs lost because of printing plant closures.

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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