News Corp. on Wednesday announced plans to shift printing of the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s to a new press in New York City.
Under a multiyear agreement unveiled Wednesday, News Corp. will shift printing operations out of the News Corp. plant in the South Bronx to a New York Times plant in College Point, Queens. The plan will result in the eventual closure of the Bronx plant, where the papers have been printed for the past 19 years. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
News Corp. said it has notified union leaders representing the employees at the Bronx print plant about the plan and is entering negotiations with them.
The cost-savings plan comes as News Corp. has been working to simplify its structure, including through the recent sales of its News America Marketing and Unruly businesses.
“This decision is not an easy one and we are grateful for the steadfast help of everyone associated with the Bronx Print Plant in producing and distributing our publications every day,” said Sean Giancola, CEO of the New York Post. “With this change, we can help move The Post farther along the path to profitability due to high traffic to the Post Digital Network, growing digital ad revenues, a price increase and additional cost savings measures.”
The Bronx print plan spans more than 400,000 square feet and is located on a 16-acre site in the Port Morris section of the Bronx. News Corp. will be examining options for the future of the plant.
Sources said that approximately 400 people could be impacted by the plant closing, while noting that transfer might not happen until early 2021.
John Heffernan president of the the Allied Printing Trades Council called the plant closing a “tragedy” and said he would have preferred that management explore the option of performing outside commercial work rather than closing the plant. “We will be looking to transfer displaced workers to the NYT as was done when the Times previously procured production of Newsday,” Heffernan said.
“This is a difficult but important step towards safeguarding our journalism and securing the printing of our publications well into the future,” said Almar Latour, CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of the Wall Street Journal. “We have been moving rapidly to a more digital environment, and while demand for digital is growing, we also serve an important community of loyal readers who love the print experience.”
Until the transfer is completed, the publications will continue to be produced at the Bronx plant, which prints The Post, the WSJ and business weekly Barron’s. All three are also printed in a number of other locations around the country.
It won’t be the first time the rival publications have rolled off the same printing press. The Journal and the New York Times are currently printed together at plants in Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Utah and California.
The Times’ College Point plant has already been printing the Long Island daily Newsday for the past several years.