‘Boston Herald’ to Outsource Printing, Lay Off Up To 160

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By: Joe Strupp

The Boston Herald will layoff between 130 and 160 workers under a plan to outsource its printing operations to other locations within the state, the paper reported Tuesday.

Patrick J. Purcell, Herald owner and publisher, said he told union leaders that the job cuts and outsourcing were necessary due to the age of some of the newspaper?s 50-year-old presses, the Herald reported.

“Purcell said the changes will ensure that the Herald will remain alive and viable in years to come,” the paper stated.

?My personal goal has been, always, to keep Boston a two-newspaper town and the Boston Herald alive,? Purcell said in an interview after meeting with union chiefs.

“Some grim-faced union leaders declined comment as they emerged from a meeting with Purcell in his office late this morning,” the Herald added. “Purcell described the meeting as ‘somber,’ even as he praised union leaders for all they?ve done over the years to keep the Herald in operation.”

Some 10 unions would be affected by the printing move, which is expected to start in late September or early October, the paper reported. Workers include pressmen, mailers, engravers and paper handlers.

Purcell is in talks with News Corp., which owns a plant in Chicopee, Mass., where The Wall Street Journal is printed, and Boston Offset, owner of a plant in Norwood that prints USA Today.

The paper plans to retain more than 400 workers in truck delivery, news, advertising, circulation, Internet and other units at the Herald, the paper revealed.

The Herald eventually plans to develop a six-acre Boston property it owns. But no decision has been made yet where the remaining employees will relocate, the paper stated.

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