Village NetMedia, which publishes four newspapers in Maine, is closing its Rockland printing facility, affecting 17 employees.
Beginning tomorrow, the company's papers -- The Herald Gazette, The Republican Journal, The Bar Harbor Times and Capital Weekly -- will be printed in Lewiston at Sun Journal Media Group, according to a press release from the company. CEO Richard Anderson said the company's aging presses needed costly repairs, and closing the facility "makes compelling business sense." Anderson said printing its papers in Lewiston will give the company more flexibility in the type and format of print products it releases. Fifteen full-time and two part-time workers will be affected by the closure. Village NetMedia will provide laid-off workers with severance packages and is looking into the state's Rapid Response program to provide retraining and outplacement support services.
VillageNet Media bought the printing facility in 2008 when it bought Courier Publications from South Carolina-based Crescent Publishing Co. The company, which also operates as VillageSoup, also publishes newspapers in other states, including Massachusetts and Iowa.