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Pioneer Press to sell its printing plant, have Star Tribune print its newspapers

MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
The Star Tribune will take over printing of the Pioneer Press by next February.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press announced today that it will sell its printing facility and have its newspapers printed by its competitor, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.

Pioneer Press Publisher Guy Gilmore said the change won’t affect the content or delivery of the St. Paul paper. About 170 employees at the St. Paul printing plant will be laid off.

Star Tribune CEO Mike Klingensmith said the new deal will strengthen the Minneapolis paper’s bottom line while “preserving more journalistic voices in our market, a principle that we fully support.”

Said Gilmore in a statement:

“There is an industry-wide effort to sell newspaper production facilities and consolidate production operations in a manner that better suits our needs. The Pioneer Press remains fully committed to the communities we serve and will continue to deliver the relevant news and advertising information our customers demand.”

The Pioneer’s printing transition will happen early next year, with production at its current plant winding down by the end of February. It will mean the loss of production jobs, officials said.

The Pioneer Press printing plant, across the river from downtown at 1 Ridder Circle (named for the Ridder family that published the St. Paul paper for decades) is being marketed by a media real estate firm.

Klingensmith said: “Across the country, outsourcing arrangements such as this are becoming increasingly common as publishers seek to gain cost efficiencies.”

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by rolf westgard on 11/20/2013 - 12:20 pm.

    As a daily subscriber to both

    I am sorry to see what looks like the beginning of a total merger.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/20/2013 - 01:38 pm.

    That light

    …at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train.

    My previous residences were in St. Louis and Denver, and in both cases, there were two daily papers when I arrived, and only one when I left. In both situations, when one paper turned over its printing operation to its rival, it marked the beginning of the end. While I don’t personally prefer the PiPress over the ‘Strib, there’s value to the Twin Cities region in having at least slightly different voices presenting the news.

    Unless the Twin Cities prove to be the exception rather than the rule, we can expect to have only one daily paper within… I’ll be optimistic and say 3 years. The ‘Strib already seems pretty establishmentarian to this non-native, and I think it will only become more so when the PiPress disappears, even if the PiPress is somewhat more conservative than the ‘Strib in recent years.

    In any case, this is not good news, except to ‘Strib shareholders.

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