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.”