Restart the presses?

Plant closures and consolidation prompt earlier deadlines, longer drives, higher costs as papers scramble to stay in print


Every newspaper printing-press closure is another shoe dropping on the local news landscape, and a big one dropped in June. That’s when Gannett announced that it will shutter its Pueblo Chieftain printing operation in Pueblo, Colo.

The plant is scheduled to print its final Chieftain issues this Sunday, Aug. 13. The following day the Denver Post, owned by Alden Global Capital’s MediaNews Group and located about 110 miles north of Pueblo, will take over the newspaper’s production.

The impact of this move goes beyond the 51 jobs at the Pueblo plant being eliminated, though that itself is a major blow to the community.

“That Pueblo press was the contract press for more than 50 Colorado hyper-local publications,” says Carol Wood, business innovation director for the Colorado News Collaborative, a nonprofit consortium of about 180 news organizations. “It sent the whole printing equation into a tailspin.”

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