The Toronto Star to outsource the printing of daily newspaper to Transcontinental Printing
Deal will mean paper’s printing plant in Vaughan will be closed, affecting about 220 full-time and 65 part-time staff
Friday brought bad news for staff at the Toronto Star’s printing plant in Vaughan, Ontario. The paper had signed a five year deal with Transcontinental Printing to print Canada’s largest daily newspaper. The decision to close the Vaughan plant means 220 full-time and 65 part-time staff will be looking for work.
“This move will allow us to focus our efforts increasingly on creating great content and engaging audiences across many platforms while at the same time reducing costs and improving the production quality of the newspaper,” said publisher John Cruickshank. “Transcontinental Printing has newer, more modern presses and this decision will result in our very loyal print readers and subscribers receiving a high-quality print product with enhanced reproduction.”
“This is an important step for the Toronto Star, but unfortunately it also means we will be saying goodbye to our long-time Vaughan printing plant employees,” Cruickshank said.
The paper said they expect the cost savings to be $10 million per year. But the decision also means the paper can explore selling its real estate, which the company says is approximately 43 acres of land, along with the existing 675,000 square foot printing facility. Offsetting this, however, the company will record a restructuring charge of approximately $22 million in 2016.
Transcontinental also prints other Canadian daily newspapers, including the Globe and Mail, the Montreal Gazette and the Vancouver Sun. The company has also been printing the San Francisco Chronicle under contract since 2009 out of its facility in Fremont, Calif.
The Toronto Star made news one month ago when it announced that it would be shutting down comments on the paper’s website, following a trend that appears to be growing. (See original TNM story here.)
“We have passionate, opinionated readers who are eager to get involved in conversations about politics, education, municipal issues, sports and more. You’re talking about the news on thestar.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, LinkedIn and more — and we want to be able to capture all of these conversations,” wrote Michael Cooke, editor of the Star, Canada’s largest-circulation daily newspaper.
“With that goal, we have turned off commenting on thestar.com effective Wednesday and instead we’ll be promoting and showcasing the comments our readers share across social media and in their letters and emails to our editors. In the New Year, we will be launching new campaigns for our readers to have their say about the issues that matter to our city,” Cooke said.
The paper also was the first to adopt the La Presse+ platform (other than La Presse itself, of course), launching a new tablet edition called Star Touch in October. The paper hopes to duplicate the Quebec paper’s success with digital editions. La Presse, starting in 2016, has stopped producing a print edition on weekdays (it still has a Saturday print edition), and will now be digital-only.