Erie Times-News to print in Butler
Your daily newspaper will soon be at least two hours older than it is now.
This morning the Times Publishing Company announced that they are in final negotiations with the Butler Eagle to print their paper, leading to the closing of the pressroom and mailroom of the Erie Times News and layoffs of 40 full and part-time positions.
The trip from Butler to the ETN’s West 12th Street location takes 1 hour and 48 minutes.
From GoErie.com this morning:
Citing the age of its printing and packaging equipment and the millions of dollars it would take to maintain or replace this equipment, the company announced in March that it would exit the printing and packaging business but continue to operate the Erie Times-News as a family-owned daily newspaper.
“After thorough evaluation of potential third-party vendors, we determined that Eagle Printing Company is best-suited to partner with us in the production of our newspaper,” said Rosanne Cheeseman, president and publisher. “Like our company, Eagle Printing Company is an award-winning, family-owned business. Even more importantly, it has modern presses and other technologies that will ensure the highest-quality product for readers and advertisers of the Erie Times-News.”
Under the ownership of the Wise family, Eagle Printing Company opened its Eagle Production Center in 2003. The modern facility includes a new-technology UniLiner press line as well as mailroom capability for daily insertion of preprint packages.
The transition is expected to occur in early August. At that time, the content of the newspaper will be transmitted electronically to the Butler facility, where it will be printed, packaged and then transported to Erie for delivery. The rest of the company’s operations — editorial, advertising, circulation, finance, information technology, maintenance, human resources, administration and the GoErie.com website — will remain in downtown Erie.
Cheeseman emphasized, “Although we are changing the way we produce our newspaper, we remain as committed as ever to serving Erie and the surrounding region — just as we have for nearly 125 years. We intend to preserve the editorial and advertising excellence that has earned us first or second place as Pennsylvania Newspaper of the Year from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association in four out of the past eight years.”
She said readers and advertisers should see no major change in content or appearance of the newspaper.
I guess no scores from the west coast and no news after the 11:00 TV shows is not considered a “major change.”
The other great irony is that the Eagle’s daily circulation is just over 26,000, but the Wise family saw to it to upgrade their presses eight years ago. Meanwhile, the ETN is nearly at 52,000 daily but the Meads did not think their press system needed to be improved. Are the presses really in that bad shape?
There are many more questions than answers on this whole deal.