Citing the expense of replacing aging printing presses and production equipment, The Blade has proposed moving to an outside vendor for newspaper production when its current labor contract ends May 31.
During a May 7 meeting with the Joint Council of Newspaper Unions, Blade management explained that its printing presses and related production equipment are “at the end of their useful lives and approaching obsolescence” and that replacing the operating equipment would cost millions of dollars, according to an email sent to Blade employees by Bill Nolan, director of human resources and labor relations.
“A number of the production systems are no longer supported by their manufacturers and only a single plate supplier remains for its flexo press plates; that supplier is located in the United Kingdom,” the email stated.
In addition, The Blade’s Superior Street building is “expensive to maintain and it, alone, may require millions of dollars of repairs.” The newspaper has also “been losing money for many years, with losses exceeding $8.5 million in 2013,” the email stated.
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