Publisher responds: Printing decision driven by economics  


Published: 7/15/2020 10:32:00 AM

Like countless other newspapers, the Daily Hampshire Gazette has decided to cease printing operations. This decision has nothing to do with “union busting” but is one driven by the economics of the printing business. 

We are shutting down one of only two flexographic newspaper presses remaining in the United States. Flexographic newspaper plates are manufactured by a single company in the U.K. and are about five times as expensive as offset printing plates, which are the industry standard. Flexographic ink is also available to us from a single supplier and is about three times as expensive as the ink used in offset printing.

When the company’s flexographic press was installed, there were 38 similar operations across the country. Over the past 15 years or so, flexographic press operations were closed in the following locations, many of which operated unionized pressrooms: American Color Graphics, Nashville, Tenn.; Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal; Bangor (Maine) Daily News; Boston (Ma.) Herald; Chattanooga (Tenn.) Free Press-News; Concord (N.H.) Monitor; Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.; Denton (Texas) Record-Chronicle; Duluth (Minn.) News-Tribune; Evansville (Ill.) Courier; Ft. Wayne (Ind.) Newspapers; Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa; Golden Books, Racine, Wis.; Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill.; Lancaster (Pa.) Newspapers; Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh; Portland (Maine) Press-Herald; Reading (Pa.) Eagle-Times; San Francisco Chronicle; Telegram & Gazette, Worcester, Mass.; The Blade, Toledo, Ohio; The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer; The Enterprise, Brockton, Mass.; The Fresno (Calif.) Bee; The Journal Times, Racine, Wis.; The Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel; The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph; The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle; The Modesto (Calif.) Bee; The Monterey County (Calif.) Herald; The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.; The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.); The Trentonian, Trenton, N.J.; The Union Leader, Manchester, N.H.; Valley News, Lebanon, N.H.; and World Color, Merced, Calif. 

After the press is shut down, the NewsGuild will continue to represent many of our employees. We are taking this reasonable step, one that many other newspapers have already taken, because we care about the long-term health of the paper and the communities we serve.

Michael Moses

Publisher, Daily Hampshire Gazette

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