Local daily’s parent changes plans — central production center to be in Rockford
Online Staff Report
GateHouse Media, corporate parent of the local daily the Rockford Register Star, has announced it will locate one of its two central production centers at the Register Star’s News Tower, 99 E. State St., Rockford. The move will reportedly bring about 65 jobs to the area.
The move comes just a few weeks after the local daily announced it would lay off 10 employees and outsource production of the paper to a central production desk in Downers Grove.
After reportedly discovering “logistical challenges” with the Downers Grove location, the company decided to locate the central production desk in Rockford.
The Rockford desk will reportedly be separate from the local daily’s newsroom. Hiring is expected to begin in April, and the desk is expected to be at full force by September.
The creation of the Rockford production desk means all GateHouse newspapers with a circulation of 5,000 and greater will be designed in Rockford. Meantime, smaller newspapers within the company will be produced at the other central production desk in Framingham, Mass., at the MetroWest Daily News.
As The Rock River Times reported in 2011, portions of the local daily’s graphics and advertising design departments were also being outsourced.
GateHouse owns nearly 80 daily newspapers and more than 250 weeklies throughout the country. GateHouse’s stock is currently trading at 7 cents per share.
The Register Star was sold by its previous parent, Gannett Co., Inc., to GateHouse as part of a $410 million deal April 12, 2007. The deal also included the GateHouse purchase of three other Gannett daily newspapers — the Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin, the Observer-Dispatch in Utica, N.Y., and The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, W. Va. At the time of the purchase, GateHouse’s stock was trading at about $21 per share.
The April 12, 2007, purchase of the Register Star came on the heels of an April 11, 2007, GateHouse purchase of nine publications from The Copley Press, Inc., for a net price of approximately $380 million. The nine publications included seven daily and two weekly newspapers, including the Peoria Journal-Star and Springfield Journal-Register in Illinois.
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