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The South Florida Sun Sentinel will start printing the daily editions of eight newspapers that belong to the national Gannett Co. chain next month.
Effective Jan. 25, the Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach Daily News, Stuart News, Port St. Lucie News, Indian River News, Fort Myers News-Press, Naples Daily News and USA Today all will be produced by the Sun Sentinel’s printing presses in Deerfield Beach.
When the Gannett papers start rolling off the presses, the Sun Sentinel’s plant will be producing 15 daily newspapers a night, said Joel Meyer, director of manufacturing and facilities.
“We are effectively doubling our work capacity every day with this new contract,” Meyer said.
The new business is expected to increase the Sun Sentinel’s printing plant work force from 150 to 200 people.
“The biggest challenge we have right now is hiring,” Meyer said. “The environment is very competitive.”
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He said the Sun Sentinel is in the market for pressmen, team leaders, supervisors and general laborers, among others.
Besides the Sun Sentinel, the other papers now being printed in the Deerfield Beach facility include the New York Daily News, New York Times, New York Post, Wall Street Journal and the weekly Barron’s financial publication. The latter three belong to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
The Gannett move came after its management decided to close the printing operations of the papers that will be produced by the Sun Sentinel, as well as the plant that prints the Panama City New Herald, which is not part of the Sun Sentinel contract.
In November, Gannett notified the state of Florida under the Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification Act that 74 workers in Port St. Lucie would be laid off and the printing plant there closed, effective Jan. 16, 2022.
The company also elected to close its printing plant and terminate all 50 workers at the News Herald in Panama City, FL., The paper will be printed at another regional Gannett facility, the News Herald reported in a November article.
The story noted that Gannett, which was acquired in 2019 for $1.1 billion by GateHouse Media, believed consolidation was needed because of a duplication of printing capacity in the region.