Advance Publications' Michigan-based Booth Newspapers unit said it will cut home delivery of four papers, shutter the plant now used to produce The Flint Journal and be managed under two new entities under terms of a broad reorganization.
Two new entities, MLive Media Group and Advance Central Services Michigan, will take over operations of Booth Newspapers and MLive.com, effective Feb. 2, 2012, according to Dan Gaydou, president of MLive Media Group.
MLive, Gaydou said, will oversee content, sales and marketing operations — print and digital — for The Grand Rapids Press, The Muskegon Chronicle, The Jackson Citizen Patriot, The Flint Journal, The Bay City Times, The Saginaw News, Kalamazoo Gazette and AnnArbor.com.
Advance Central Services will manage production, distribution, purchasing accounting and human resources and be under the direction of Michael Ply, Gaydou said.
As part of the reorganization, home-delivery schedules for The Press, Chronicle, Citizen Patriot and Gazette will be reduced to three days a week: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Papers will continue to be published seven days a week with single copies available at retailers' locations, Gaydou said. Booth in 2009 cut home delivery of the Bay City Times, Saginaw News and Flint Journal. Under the new plan, The News and Times will be delivered to subscribers' homes four days a week, up from three, while The Journal will continue to be delivered four days. Booth also delivers a printed version of AnnArbor.com to subscribers' homes two days a week. That schedule, put into effect after Booth folded the Ann Arbor News in 2009, will remain unchanged.
Gaydou said the facility now producing the Flint newspaper will be closed Feb. 2 and production and packaging will be transferred to the plant that prints The Bay City Times and The Saginaw News. The Flint plant was opened in 2004. The Kalamazoo Gazette and Muskegon Chronicle are currently being produced at The Grand Rapid Press; The Citizen-Patriot is printed at Ann Arbor Offset, which also prints AnnArbor.com.
Finally, editorial production and regional copyediting centers now at The Citizen Patriot and Bay County will be merged into an existing copyeditng office at The Grand Rapids Press. The new center will begin operations Feb. 2, Gaydou said.
The retooling of Booth's Michigan operations will result in a cut in employees, but the company didn't disclose how many employees will be laid off.