The presses will stop rolling in Hyannis this spring when the Cape Cod Times shifts its printing work off-Cape, as the newspaper’s parent company tries to capitalize on its $46 million purchase of the Providence Journal last year.
Publisher Peter Meyer unveiled the move — which will also affect the Standard-Times of New Bedford and several smaller publications printed in Hyannis — to the staff Thursday. Meyer told employees the Hyannis printing press will be out of commission by the end of March, and the printing will be shifted to the Journal and other unspecified locations. He said the Hyannis printing plant was built 27 years ago and requires more than $1 million in upgrades. The site would still be used as a distribution hub, Meyer said.
It is unclear how many jobs will be affected by the move. Meyer couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.
“I never like to see those types of jobs leave Cape Cod,” said Wendy Northcross, chief executive of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. “Given what the newspaper industry is up against, though, it’s understandable.”
The announcement comes just days after the paper’s parent company, New Media Investment Group, completed its $280 million purchase of Halifax Media Group, a deal that brought the Worcester Telegram & Gazette into the New Media fold. The New York-based company now operates more than 10 dailies and dozens of weeklies in New England, most of them in its GateHouse Media division. The group includes The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, The Enterprise of Brockton, and the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham. (The Globe prints the Ledger, Enterprise, and Telegram & Gazette under contracts with New Media.)
New Media said its buying spree is not over. The publicly traded company — backed in large part by Fortress Investment Group — said this week it’s selling at least 7 million shares to raise more than $150 million, which it will use to pay for more acquisitions and to repay some of the company’s debt.
A predecessor company to New Media acquired the Cape Cod Times and Standard-Times in 2013 from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Some job cuts have taken place since then, including a move of page design work to GateHouse’s centralized design center in Austin, Texas.