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I hate to see these printing positions go. The Journal-World has done great work in keeping printing going in Lawrence for 122 years, and I wish it could continue.
I also commend the Journal-World for continuing to publish the Baldwin City Signal, The Shawnee Dispatch, Tonganoxie Mirror and the Chieftain of Basehor and Bonner Springs, all of which serve a valuable role in their communities.
I really wonder if this was really necessary? If the printing plant doesn't make a profit, but doesn't make a loss, wouldn't it be far better to keep the jobs and plant in Lawrence?
ummm all printing is going to missouri. 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.
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Fact is for many years ljw has done there best to put a good spin on any local news leaving out the negitive issues of Lawrence. It was just a matter of time before a good chunk of people realized the bad that happens here they have to learn from a out city paper.
I'd like to throw this out there.......
If the business operation at LJWorld gets so bad that the Simons family is looking to sell the newspaper, please, please, please give the local business community an opportunity to purchase it.
Don't sell it to McClatchy,Tribune, Berkshire Hathaway or MediaNews Group without letting the local community have a shot first.
I often don't think much of the editorial staff's decisions, but I think everyone in town recognizes that having a locally owned and operated newspaper is a benefit to the community.
It's laughable to compare the Lawrence Journal-World with The Buffalo News. First off, The Buffalo News journalists have won three Pulitzer Prizes, and others have been finalists for three more Pulitzer Prizes. How many Pulitzer prizes have been won by journalists at the Lawrence Journal-World? And, no one at the Lawrence Journal-World has won an Editorial Cartooning award, much less two. And, another journalist at The Buffalo News won the New York State Associated Press Award, but journalists in Kansas have no chance of winning that award.
The Omaha World-Herald, a newspaper that Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) owns, has also won three Pulitzer Prizes. It's circulation is much larger than the LJWorld, and it's been profitable every year for the last ten years.
The Business Wire, another media site that BRK owns, is international, with distribution in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, London, and Tokyo, thus making the site available in seven languages.
So don't worry, BRK will not buy the Lawrence Journal-World. It is strictly a local newspaper that is of no interest to BRK, who is only interested in companies that are selling at least in the hundreds of millions of dollars, or billions of dollars. But, if there is a company worth that kind of money, BRK has the cash waiting.
Does our local business community have that kind of money? I mean really, after all, they cried and cried about only 14 million dollars for the library! That's pocket change for BRK, who would be expecting that much in profits every year.
I'm not sure that I would interpret the closing of the World Company's printing facilities as a sign of things being bad with the business operation. There are many successful publications out there that do not operate their own presses. In fact, this should free up resources to allow the J-W to better accomplish the primary objective of a newspaper, i.e., provide the community with news. As the Capital-Journal's publisher noted when they also moved their printing to the Star, "We are in the news business, not the printing business."
I can't think of anyone in Lawrence who would be able to run the J-W other than the Simons family. Even without the press facilities, it would take a very significant investment to purchase the J-W and the World Company's other publications. I've seen a KU journalism professor and others attempt alternative publications in Lawrence in the past 12 years or so, and they have all failed. The Tornado was a disaster in 2001. The Lawrencian appeared to have promise when Amber Fraley published it, but quickly went downhill when others took it over.
I have studied the J-W's circulation numbers for nearly 20 years, and not that the paid circulation is higher today than it was 20 years ago. That's rare amongst dailies. I believe (but I'm not 100% sure because I haven't looked into it), the J-W has a good number of online subscribers. If that's the case, they may be ahead of the curve when it comes to converting "dead wood" subscribers to online subscribers. This will ultimately be the way we all get our news since printing is either the top or one of the top expenses for a newspaper, and younger readers are moving away from newsprint.
At a "Coffee With the Editors" meeting some time ago, I asked if something I read about paper newspapers some time ago is true. The answer was definitely YES!
The Lawrence Journal-World loses money on every paper edition printed. The losses on the paper editions are made up for by advertising, and paper editions are ideal for coupon printing for those who do not have a printer of their own.
Curious what the plans are for the printing facilities in Lawrence. How big is the building?
" Also there is a steady trend in the newspaper business to move printing to larger plants with expanded printing and production facilities.”
This is no reason not to keep printing local. It's in Lawrence as we speak. The move is being driven by the feel of increased profits.
I can fully understand this move. I stopped reading physical copies of the newspapers because they piled up. I then completely got out of the habit. I am moving to a new house and actually needed papers to pack dishes and still used cloth instead. I asked a client in the paper business what was going on these days and he said that they were pretty much in packaging and boxes and operating with a fraction of their former workforce. The company I work for only uses paper for a few elderly clients who do not own computers. The post office is also operating at a lower level than before. We saved the trees! The LJ World sits on some of the most prime real estate in Lawrence so it will be interesting to see what becomes of that site. The train will no longer be dodging cars on Sixth, Vermont, and Mass. When I was in college 6th and Mass was an industrial area so an era ends with this printing shift.
Well, now that Boulevard has been bought out too, Free State could just buy the whole block and increase their capacity tenfold ; )
Chris ... great idea ... really good idea actually!
Although I have only lived in Lawrence for nearly three years, popular discourse seemed to have framed LJWorld as a local/community-oriented business. However, this article -- in particular, its tone and wording -- strikes me as very cold and clinical. The focus seems to be on why printing is being outsourced to the Star: the ending of relationships with USA Today, and industrial trends. Even the discussion of the consequences are very cold: will not impact delivery time, the elimination of 33 jobs, and "no way to sugarcoat this".
LJWorld, what about the humanistic and community-oriented aspect? Have you made any attempts to include these individuals in this change of business model and environment? In other words, are there any attempts being made to maintain these job by reassigning "your good friends" to other duties within the business?
This is a bad move. We need to change the way business' are looked at. What's more important, 33 families loosing their means of support and the community loosing local buying power or the publishers making a few more pennies. This way of doing business is so destructive to local communities and really needs to be replaced with a people first approach.
Down with the World Company!
This is sad sad news.
Especially for the long term J-W printing department employees who will lose their jobs.
But not unexpected.
The print newspaper business is not what it used to be.
And neither is the greeting card business I spent my working life at either.
For better, or worse?
Digital media is about to steam-roller the old-time paper & printing press companies.
The next step will be to reduce the number of days per week that there is a printed edition.
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