The Miami Herald Media Company announced Tuesday it will move its printing and packaging operations to Broward County. The South Florida Sun Sentinel will begin printing the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald at its Deerfield Beach facility starting April 26.
The newspapers have been printed in Doral since the company moved from its downtown Miami headquarters in 2013.
Aminda Marqués González, president, publisher and executive editor of the newspapers, said this “was a very difficult business decision reached after thoughtful analysis and deliberation. As you know, as more readers find their news online, demand for print is declining and publishers, including our sister publications across McClatchy, are consolidating their print operations.’’
Marqués announced the decision at a meeting of production employees Tuesday evening. Moving print and packaging operations will not affect newspaper delivery times for subscribers and readers.
Closing the plant will mean 70 employees — 34 full time and 36 part time — will lose their jobs, Marqués said. All will receive severance packages based on their tenure with the Herald. The Sun Sentinel has indicated that it may hire as many as 18 Herald staffers to support the increased work printing the newspapers and other products.
“We are deeply grateful to the entire production team whose steadfast work has built a reputation of dependability and excellence for the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald and has served our community loyally,” Marqués said.
Several other Florida news organizations have made similar moves with printing operations. The Palm Beach Post moved its printing to the Sun Sentinel in 2009. Last month, the Naples Daily News announced it was moving print operations for Naples and the Fort Myers News-Press to Sarasota, effective in February.
The Doral printing plant was built in 2012 and 2013 on a six-acre parcel next to the Miami Herald Media Company’s headquarters at 3511 NW 91st Ave. The printing press building was sold in February 2016 for $13.85 million to the pension plan of McClatchy, parent company of the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald. The property and building is assessed by Miami-Dade County for tax purposes at $14.5 million.
The decision comes at a challenging economic time for news organizations, including McClatchy. McClatchy is currently in negotiations with the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. over pension obligations. McClatchy said in November that it would be unable to make $124 million in contributions to the pension plan due over the course of 2020, with most of it due on Sept. 15 or after. The company is negotiating with the PBGC to take over the plan. The company said that “under current regulations, such a solution would not have an adverse impact on qualified pension benefits for substantially all of its retirees.”