Toledo Blade mulls outsourcing production

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Posted: Monday, May 19, 2014 12:43 pm

The Blade in Toledo, Ohio, proposed moving to an outside company for newspaper production when its current labor contract is up at the end of May, Toledo Free Press reported.

Citing aging printing presses and related production equipment, The Blade’s management explained in a meeting with the Joint Council of Newspaper Unions that replacing the equipment would cost millions of dollars.

“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,” said an email from Bill Nolan, director of human resources and labor relations, sent to Blade employees. “That supplier is located in the United Kingdom.”

MacDermid is the only remaining vendor supplying flexo newspaper plates.

The email went on to explain that The Blade’s existing building on Superior Street is expensive to maintain and may require an additional millions of dollars in repairs.

“The newspaper has been losing money for many years, with losses exceeding $8.5 million in 2013,” the email stated.

It is unclear how many employees a potential move could affect.

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