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Monday, March 14, 2011

Do They Believe?

Something happened last week that frightened me.

The Erie Times News said it will outsource its printing in the third quarter of this year.  40 full and part timers will lose their jobs.

Management said its press is getting old, and it's not in the company's best interest to invest in a new one.  Translation:  they're not sure the print version of the newspaper will be around long enough to pay for a new press.

The Times News isn't the first to do this.  More than two dozen newspapers, around the country, have closed their printing plants.

This isn't a rinky dink operation.  The Erie Times News is a good sized paper, and it sells more than 55 thousand copies every day.

A new printing company hasn't been chosen.  Rumor has it that the Erie paper will be printed in a plant that's about a 90 minute drive from Erie.  While publishing technology has made advances, you can't overlook the long drive.  It means the paper will have to "go to bed" earlier, and that means the news on the doorsteps of subscribers and at news stands will be even less fresh.  It's another nail in the newspaper coffin. 

And I thought broadcasting was a tough business.