ABH outsourcing printing?

It appears that the ABH will soon begin outsourcing its print product and close down its printing press in Athens. This is a growing trend among small and midsize daily newspapers across the country as many seek to cut costs. Although central publishing plants have always been a main source of publishing for weekly newspapers, it has been rare in the daily world until the 2008 recession. Macon began outsourcing its daily paper a couple years ago and there’s been a strong move toward more central publishing among all newspaper in the state in the last 5 years.
In addition to the direct cost involved, daily papers are also less willing today to invest in new printing technology as they move toward a “digital first” operation. Among daily newspapers in general, print is becoming a secondary distribution channel behind digital.
Weekly newspapers, while having digital products, haven’t moved that direction as strongly and print remains the mainstay.
That the ABH is moving this direction isn’t new. But whether or not the paper will move out of its downtown location as Macon plans to do isn’t clear. It wouldn’t surprise me if many daily newspapers don’t seek to downsize their buildings and have reporters working from home off laptops rather than inside a traditional newsroom. In addition to print consolidation, some daily papers have taken their page production off shore to India and other places where labor is less expensive. In theory, a daily newspaper could be produced with only a very small office and outsource most of its news gathering, ad layout and page layout.


About mikeb21081

Publisher Mainstreet Newspapers
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