LNP Media Group announced today that it will close its printing facility in downtown Lancaster, a move that will eliminate about 75 jobs, and contract with PA Media Group.
Beginning in May, the Lancaster newspaper will be printed at PA Media Group’s Hampden Township facility along Interstate 81 in Cumberland County. Editorial, sales, marketing and support staffs will remain in downtown Lancaster, said Robert Krasne, LNP publisher, and John Kirkpatrick, LNP president, in a letter to employees.
LNP signed a six-year deal with PA Media Group for printing services, Kirkpatrick said by phone. Kirkpatrick is the former publisher of The Patriot-News newspaper in Harrisburg, part of PA Media Group.
“Our present equipment is just not supported by the manufacturer anymore. There’s one supplier of plates and they’re in the U.K.,” he added. “We really felt we had to make this move for a long-term commitment to Lancaster in print.”
Lee Carlson, president of PA Media Group, could not be reached for comment.
Approximately 40 full-time employees and 35 part-time employees may lose their jobs. Kirkpatrick said the company will work to find places for some of the displaced employees in other parts of Steinman Communications. The company owns other printing facilities, as well as 12 radio stations in Maryland and Delaware, he said.
“We still have to work through the details,” he added. “We just didn’t want to do it in secret, so we made this announcement while there’s still things up in the air.”
Printing at the Hampden Township facility will improve the quality of the Lancaster newspaper, including color options on every page, Kirkpatrick said. There are no plans to cut print days, he said.
“These regional print centers is the way of our industry,” he said. “This was really not a financial calculation as much as it was we have equipment that isn’t going to carry us much further into the future. We couldn’t do that to ourselves, to our readers, and our advertisers.”