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GANNETT NEWS

Memo: Updates on The Journal news


Gannettoid.com | news@gannettoid.com | Posted: March 1, 2010 • Morning report


The Journal News, a Gannett newspaper in Westchester, N.Y., enters its final week before outsourcing its printing and packaging to a non-Gannett site in Rockaway, N.J.

The move announced in early December, also includes the production of Gannett's Poughkeepsie Journal in White Plains, N.Y.

Journal News publisher Michael Fisch confirmed to Gannettoid.com at the time that his paper was profitable, but the closing would lead to the elimination of 166 full- and part-time employees.

The move is effective with all editions dated March 8.

A new memo, dated Feb. 26 from Fisch, details the transition process has already begun.

"This transition has been under way for some time, and you will see some changes in our product as the length of our paper will be slightly shorter than it is currently," the memo read. "We've actually transitioned some of the packaging elements over the past several weeks, and the rest will occur the week of the 8th of March."

Here's the memo:

Printing and packaging transition

On Saturday night, March 6, and Sunday morning March 7, we will print and package the last editions of The Journal News and Poughkeepsie Journal from our printing plant here in Harrison. The editions of Monday, March 8, will be our first to be printed entirely in the Rockaway N.J., printing plant.

This transition has been under way for some time, and you will see some changes in our product as the length of our paper will be slightly shorter than it is currently. We've actually transitioned some of the packaging elements over the past several weeks, and the rest will occur the week of the 8th of March.

I want to thank the many employees who will be leaving the company as this transition is completed. They have contributed a great deal to our company's success over the years, and we wish them the best as they transition to other opportunities.

Building sale update

The marketing process to sell our building continues on a positive track. We have had a great deal of interest in the building and we've provided many tours to various prospects. As we expected, this is a process that takes time and we're busy doing title search work, phase one environmental reviews, site survey work and all the other pre-sale work that will need to be done once a buyer is determined.

We do not have a buyer at this point, but the marketing process is in full swing and there's a fair amount of interest in the office/warehouse combination that we offer.

We are also doing preliminary space planning to determine the amount of space we will need once we consolidate everyone into a new space. This process is being done to determine how much space we need, and ultimately, what type of space we will need. We have had some preliminary discussion on our "wish list," and this will continue as the process continues.

We are looking at several options at the same time. The first option would be if we were to stay in this building how would we restructure our space and bring the remaining employees together in refurbished space. The second option is what type of space would we want if we were to move to another facility in the nearby I-287 corridor. We will continue down this dual track until we know for certain which option we will select.

I still expect that any sale and then the follow-on action steps will still be late this year. We will keep you posted as the process proceeds.


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