Hartford Courant to close printing plant, cut 151 jobs
HARTFORD — The Hartford Courant announced Monday that it will be outsourcing its printing operation to Massachusetts, ending a 256-year tradition of running its own presses locally.
The paper’s printing operation will be taken over by the Springfield Republican newspaper by the end of the year, said Max Reinsdorf, a spokesman for the Courant’s parent company, Tribune Publishing Co.
The relocation will eliminate 151 jobs from the Courant’s printing plant by early next year, according to Reinsdorf.
“While this was a difficult decision, it is not a reflection in any way on the loyalty and commitment to excellence of the people whose employment will be affected,” Reinsdorf said in a statement on Monday.
Reindorf said on Monday the relocation of printing services will not affect the distribution or circulation of the paper.
“The Courant remains committed to its mission of telling the stories of the people of Connecticut,” said Andrew Julien, the paper’s publisher and editor-in-chief. “We are not in any way changing the mission of the paper.”
All affected Hartford Courant employees will receive severance packages, Reinsdorf said.
Reinsdorf cited “ongoing print revenue declines” and the financial fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as the reasons for the closure. He said the company will refocus on its “digital growth.”
The Courant had printed the paper on its own presses continuously since 1764 with only two exceptions: For four days during a flood in 1936 and one day during a flood in 1955, according to a history of the paper published in 2014.
Two of Hearst Connecticut Media Group’s publications, The Middletown Press and The Register Citizen in Torrington, are printed out of the Hartford Courant’s plant.
“Although we do not anticipate any changes to our printing agreement, we’ll await to hear specifics in the coming days,” said Mike DeLuca, president and publisher of Hearst Connecticut Media Group.
Earlier this year, Tribune Publishing Co. said it would close five newsroom locations, including the Daily News in New York and the Orlando Sentinel in Florida.
Tribune Publishing, a Chicago-based media company, also publishes the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and other daily papers.