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Another Florida Times-Union Printing Press To Close As Gatehouse Plans More Layoffs

Bill Bortzfield
The Florida Times-Union moved out of its longtime home at 1 Riverside Ave. in March. It is now located at 1 Independent Drive.

A subsidiary of Gatehouse Media, which owns The Florida Times-Union and St. Augustine Record, has filed a letter with Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity announcing plans to shut down its press at The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

The letter, which serves as a notice of expected layoffs this summer, says up to 79 News-Journal employees will be affected as part of the closure.

CA Florida Holdings, Inc., which does business as the News-Journal, filed the notice. 

The move follows the 2018 shutdown of the Times-Union’s press at 1 Riverside Ave. in Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville press closure resulted in the elimination of approximately 50 jobs. At the time, printing of the Times-Union and Record were outsourced to sister papers in Daytona Beach and Gainesville.

Gatehouse Media Group Publisher Bill Offill told WJCT News on Wednesday that the move to cease printing in Daytona will have "very little effect" on the Jacksonville newspaper. 

"Only the Sunday paper was printed in Daytona and that will move, likely to Ocala, where we will print seven days," Offill said. Delivery times for the Record and the Times-Union will remain the same after the Daytona press is shuttered. "Our delivery goal will remain 6 a.m. Monday - Friday and 7 a.m. Sundays," said Offill.

Currently the Daytona Beach press operates at 901 Sixth St. in Daytona Beach. The letter states the News-Journal plans to continue its other operations at the Daytona facility.

In part, the letter states:

...we have decided to implement an operational restructuring and discontinue printing and inserting operations at our facility in Daytona Beach, Florida. The reason for this restructuring is print consolidation due to industry challenges.
Unfortunately, we anticipate that this will result in the termination of employment for several employees.

The letter goes on to lay out the expected timeframe for the layoffs:

The employment separations may occur or commence with the 14-day period from June 30, 2019, to July 13, 2019.

Offill confirmed that timetable.

Gatehouse Media, which owns the News-Journal, bought the Times-Union and Record from the Morris family of Augusta, Ga., in 2017.

A series of layoffs in Jacksonville took place after the acquisition, with the Times-Union's moving from its longtime home on Riverside Avenue to the Wells Fargo Building downtown in March.

The Times-Union is a WJCT News editorial partner.

WJCT News partner the Jacksonville Daily Record reported the Times-Union’s Sunday circulation at last report was down to 46,988.  The St. Augustine Record’s Sunday circulation was 9,908. Sunday is historically the biggest circulation day for newspapers, so the weekday circulation is likely lower than that.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.