February 2, 2021

The Philadelphia Inquirer announced Tuesday that its Schuylkill Printing Plant has been sold to developer J. Brian O’Neill for $37 million, according to reporting by the Inquirer’s Jacob Adelman. The Inquirer announced its intent to sell the plant, which will result in the loss of 500 jobs, in October.

“The decision is part of a business strategy aimed at reducing operational expenses and ensuring the long term sustainability of The Inquirer,” publisher Lisa Hughes told staff in an email Tuesday. “SPP has been central to our operations for nearly 30 years, and I know that the decision to no longer print our own newspapers is an emotional one for many.”

The Inquirer is the latest of many newsrooms to stop printing newspapers and outsource that work out of town.

In 2020, at least 1,500 jobs were lost to printing plant shutdowns, including at Gannett’s Palm Springs Desert Sun, Tribune’s Hartford Courant and the Tampa Bay Times, which Poynter owns. In our list of how newsrooms have been affected by the pandemic, we’ve tracked 13 plant closures so far.

The Inquirer, which is owned by the Lenfest Institute, will outsource its printing to a Gannett plant in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Related: What I’ve learned from covering a year of media layoffs and closures

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Kristen Hare covers the people and business of local news and is the editor of Locally at Poynter. She previously worked as a staff writer…
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