‘Modesto Bee’ May Move Production to Sacramento

By: E&P Staff

The Modesto Bee’s president and publisher, Margaret Randazzo, is studying the feasibility of closing the McClatchy Co. daily’s pressroom and mailroom and moving printing to packaging to the group’s flagship Sacramento Bee.

Production employees were informed last month that the company was investigating what savings and efficiencies might be gained by moving the operations to Sacramento. Faced with declining business and rising costs, newspapers have increased production consolidations in the past two years.

The 78,001-circulation Modesto Bee is printed on Goss flexo presses, while the 268,755-circulation Sacramento Bee is printed on Goss offset presses that have been upgraded and expanded in recent years.

The feasibility study is looking at “basically everything from platemaking on,” Randazzo told E&P, adding, “we’re in discussions with union leadership.” The cities are about 80 miles apart and not in adjacent counties, but Randazzo noted that the two Bees’ circulation areas extend toward each other.

“We want to be able to complete the feasibility study as soon as possible,” and provide updates periodically, Randazzo said. She said there is no timetable for reaching a decision and declined to offer an estimate of how many jobs might be affected.

Throughout the company, McClatchy seeks to reduce its workforce by 10% — a goal announced shortly before Modesto’s study was announced. At about the same time, McClatchy said it will outsource production of a daily in Idaho and another in Washington to Pioneer Newspapers plants in those states.

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