‘Boston Herald’ Print Outsourcing Follows Rejection by ‘Globe’

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By: E&P Staff

The Boston Herald has announced plans to outsource its printing, with the consequent elimination of 130 to 160 jobs in the production plant.

Citing difficulties with both new and old printing equipment, Publisher Patrick J. Purcell said earlier this week that he expects to make the change in early fall.

Contracts have yet to be signed, but the arrangements call for News Corp.’s Dow Jones plant in Chicopee, approximately 90 miles west, near Springfield, to print the Herald Saturday through Thursday, and Gannett Offset Print Group’s plant in Norwood, 25 miles south of Boston, to handle Friday printing.

Confirming discussion with Purcell, The Boston Globe last week reported it had turned down a deal to print the Herald. The New York Times Co.-owned Glober has printed The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, and The Enterprise, Brockton, since last fall. In recent years it also began printing New York’s Daily News, the New York Post, and Boston Metro.

The Globe quoted its publisher, Steven P. Ainsley, saying ”We appreciated the opportunity to consider printing the Herald but, in the end, determined that making that commitment was not in our best interests at this time.”

Preliminary talks with Dow Jones & Co. began about a year ago (E&P Online, July 30, 2007), several months before The Wall Street Journal publisher was acquired by News Corp., which in 1994 sold the Herald to Purcell.

Dimensions of the tabloid Herald may be adjusted to correspond to the print area available on the Journal’s press.

The site of the Herald’s headquarters is slated for redevelopment (E&P Online Aug. 30, 2007), but news and business staffers are not expected to move for at least another year.

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