The Democrat and Chronicle said that its printing plant at Canal Ponds Business Park in Greece will close in April. This will mean that 108 people will lose their jobs, and the D&C and other newspapers will be printed out of state.
In a web story posted on Wednesday, Gannett said that as their business becomes more digital and focused on subscriptions, they are “making strategic decisions to ensure the future of local journalism and continue our outstanding service to the community.”
The company said that 57 full-time employees and 51 part-time employees started getting word on Wednesday that these local printing jobs would soon be ending.
After being printed for decades at the Gannett office on Exchange Street in downtown Rochester, the Democrat and Chronicle started printing at Canal Ponds in 1997.
The D&C will be printed in northern New Jersey at some point. In the past few years, some out-of-town newspapers have been printed at the local printing shop. Those papers will be published somewhere else.
The switch is supposed to start on April 11. Gannett said that home delivery times for the D&C will not change, but that the longer distance the papers will have to travel will mean that each day’s pages will be made earlier.
Gannett said that most people now get their news from digital devices, but Executive Editor Michael Kilian said that the D&C is still committed to serving “our loyal print readers by publishing relevant, insightful, and compelling stories and photos.”
But D&C reporter and co-chair of the Newspaper Guild of Rochester Justin Murphy said in a statement that Gannett’s decision was “further proof of its basic disregard for the community it claims to serve.” The union has been talking about a new labor contract for a long time.
“These never-ending ways to cut costs are only necessary because the company puts shareholder profits and huge executive pay ahead of what’s best for its readers,” said Murphy. “We ask Gannett again to change direction and put money into local journalism before it’s too late.”