Officials of The World Company, the parent company of the Lawrence Journal-World, announced today that for the first time in 122 years, the Journal-World will be printed at an off-site location. The current production plant at 608 Massachusetts St. will be closed Jan. 14, 2014, with the paper to be printed at the Kansas City Star in Kansas City, Mo.
Dan Simons and Dolph C. Simons III, co-presidents of The World Company, in a joint statement said: “This decision to move the production site was prompted by several factors. First, The Gannett Company notified The World Company it would end its 30-year USA Today printing relationship with the Journal-World in January. Also there is a steady trend in the newspaper business to move printing to larger plants with expanded printing and production facilities.”
The closing of the newspaper’s production/press operation will mean the elimination of 33 jobs. The Simons brothers said, “It is rare in today’s times a company can maintain a core technology for 122 years but the business model of printed news distribution has definitely changed and in many ways, it is unfortunate. We grew up with many of the individuals affected by this move and consider them our good friends.
“There is no way to sugarcoat this; it is painful. However, for the sake of the rest of the employees, we must continue to adapt to the changing business environment.”
The move is not in any way expected to impact the delivery time of the Journal-World.
The World Company’s four weekly newspapers, The Shawnee Dispatch, Tonganoxie Mirror, Baldwin City Signal and the Chieftain of Basehor and Bonner Springs, will be printed at The Examiner printing facility in Independence, Mo.
The company’s commercial printing clients have been notified of the pending closure and alternative arrangements have been suggested for other daily newspaper customers.
Editor's note: Earlier this year, the Topeka Capital-Journal converted its newspaper printing operation to the Star in Kansas City as well. Other newspapers now printing at Kansas City include the Ottawa Herald, Iola Register, Emporia Gazette and Madison News.