Pioneer Newspapers to Print Some McClatchy Papers

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By: E&P Staff

McClatchy has struck a deal with Pioneer Newspapers Inc. to print the Idaho Statesman and The Bellingham (Wash.) Herald in an effort to reduce expenses.

The printing of the Idaho Statesman will take place at the Pioneer-owned Idaho Press Tribune about 20 minutes away from Nampa, Idaho. Pioneer is upgrading its printing facilities and is expected to take over the Idaho Statesman job in 2009.

Pioneer’s Skagit Valley (Wash.) Herald is scheduled to handle the printing of the Bellingham Herald. The Valley Herald is about 30 minutes away from Bellingham. The shift is expected to take place in Q2 of 2009 after the Valley Herald finishes construction of its new office and production facilities.

As a result, the Idaho Statesman will cut 24 full-time production jobs and will convert to a narrower web. Pioneer expects to hire several of the staffers at the Idaho Statesman, according to a press release.

“The creative partnership will help both companies take advantage of regional synergies, realize some significant financial benefits and enhance the reproduction quality of our newspapers in each of these markets,” Bob Weil, McClatchy’s vice president of operations, said in a statement.

Weil added the move will allow McClatchy to avoid spending millions of dollars needed to refurbish the Idaho Statesman’s 35-year old press. That press though will remain in service and will continue to print niche and specialty products as well as outside jobs. Inserting operations will continue at the Statesman’s facilities.

Earlier today, McClatchy said it would cut 10% of its workforce to save money.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The Statesman has an average daily circulation of 61,927 and the Bellingham Herald has an average daily circulation of 22,719, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Pioneer Newspapers, headquarted in Seattle, publishes eight dailies and 13 weeklies throughout the Northwest.

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