Cox Media Group Ohio to Close Newspaper Printing Plant; 135 Impacted

The downsizing of the newspaper printing and publishing industry continues. Cox Media Group Ohio, based in Dayton, Ohio, announced yesterday plans to close its newspaper printing facility located at 5000 Commerce Center Drive in nearby Franklin, Ohio, resulting in the layoffs of approximately 75 full-time and 60 part-time workers employed there. Located in Warren County along the Great Miami River and named, ironically, after Benjamin Franklin, Franklin, Ohio, has a population of nearly 12,000 residents.

The three daily publications currently printed there — The Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News — and some weekly publications will instead be printed at Gannett’s Indianapolis newspaper printing plant, following an outsourcing agreement that has been reached between Cox Media Group and Gannett Publishing Services.

“We remain committed to serving our communities with award-winning journalism and the region’s most competitive advertising opportunities, but the media business has changed incredibly since 1999 when we invested almost $100 million to build the Franklin plant,” admits Rob Rohr, Cox Media Group Ohio market VP and GM. “We believe gaining savings in newspaper production while investing in local journalism and technology is the best way to serve our communities and grow our customers while we chart an aggressive path forward.”

All impacted production employees will be eligible to receive severance pay, according to Cox Media Ohio officials, noting that the plant closure requires them to honor notice and bargaining obligations. The transition of work to Gannett’s Indianapolis production facility is expected to occur over several months starting in the third quarter of this year.
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