CBS Sacramento

Stockton Record Closing Press Facility, 40 Jobs Lost In GateHouse Media Slashing

September 7, 2018

STOCKTON (CBS13) — The Stockton Record announced it’s the latest victim of a tariff fight over the cost of newsprint and will close its operations facility, ending local printing of the newspaper.

The closure will happen in October. The daily newspaper will continue to be printed, though where has not been specified as that deal has not been finalized, the Record said on Friday.

About 40 jobs will be lost in Stockton as a result of the move.

The news comes just a week after the sudden closure of the Gridley Herald by the Record’s parent company GateHouse Media. The company also closed the Carthage Press the same week. The Press was southwest Missouri’s oldest newspaper.

The company cited increased cost of newsprint as part of the reason for the Stockton Record operations plant closure.

The Trump Administration pushed a tariff on Canadian newsprint in August, capping tariffs at nearly 17 percent. The tariff had been floated since March of this year and the markets priced in the increased costs from the tariffs in the months leading up to them going into effect in August.

The trade measures were put in place after one paper mill in Washington state complained about Canadian imports. North Pacific Paper Company, owned by One Rock Capital Partners, filed the request in 2017.

Among the other concerns for the newspaper were the age of some of its presses and the width of the paper, since it was the only newspaper in GateHouse Media to use that specific width.

GateHouse Media has come under intense criticism for its practices in thinning newsrooms and diminishing the products of its news operations. The company boasts a reach of 570 markets in 37 states, including 10 in California.

GateHouse Media is a holding company for New Media Investment Group. New Media boasted about a strong second quarter in 2018just last month with total revenues of $388.7 million, increasing 20.4 percent year over year.

The company also closed down the Waynesville Daily Guide in Waynesville, Missouri on Friday.

The news also comes a week before GateHouse Media hosts the Online News Association annual event, ONA18.