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Northeast Publishing to print northern edition of Bangor Daily News starting next month

    PRESQUE ISLE — A decision to outsource printing of the Bangor Daily News is welcome news for its northern Maine subsidiary.

    An official with Bangor Publishing Company announced late Friday that the firm would close its Hampden printing plant and contract with Lewiston-based Sun Media Group and Northeast Publishing Company of Presque Isle to print the Bangor Daily News.
    Todd Benoit, chief operating officer for Bangor Publishing, told a BDN reporter that reduced circulation and an aging printing press, built in 1964, were the primary reasons for the changes. Also, the BDN’s online readership now surpasses its print subscription base by a substantial margin, he said.
    By contracting outside for printing services, Bangor Publishing Company will realize substantial savings, said Benoit.
    “No one ever wants to see a press shut down,” he said. “But the dramatic changes in our industry nationwide require news organizations, including here in Maine, to find new efficiencies through cooperation and partnerships,” he told BDN staff writer Whit Richardson.
    “The BDN remains committed to the region and will continue to deliver the Bangor Daily News without interruption,” he added.
    Twenty-seven full-time employees at the Hampden press facility will be offered a comprehensive severance package including severance pay, extended health care coverage and retraining assistance. The plant will close on Sept. 24.
    Publisher Richard J. Warren released a statement to his company’s employees citing the need to consolidate press operations in the face of declining print circulation and an outdated printing press in need of major investment.
    “We have a proud tradition of providing an excellent newspaper at Bangor Daily News, and that is in large part because of the press operators and production staff, some of whom have worked for three and four decades for the BDN. We are grateful to them and we will miss them,” Warren wrote.
    Beginning in mid-August, Northeast Publishing Company in Presque Isle, will print the northern Maine edition of the BDN while Sun Media will produce the largest portion of the newspaper’s approximate 47,000-copy press run.
    “These changes will bring us closer to Northeast Publishing … NEP performs top-quality work in its commercial printing and its weekly production of the Aroostook Republican, Houlton Pioneer Times, The Star-Herald and The Piscataquis Observer. We are certain they will bring that quality to the Bangor Daily News,” Warren wrote, adding, “The Bangor Daily News will continue its mission of informing our readers of the news of the day and advocating with all its might for the best interests of Maine. The way we print is changing; our commitment to Maine and its people remains as strong as ever.”
    For Northeast Publishing Company, the addition of the daily newspaper to the existing product line of several weeklies and a variety of monthly and seasonal publications, will mean expanded hours of operation for its web press.
    NEP Director of Operations Roger Tremblay welcomed the opportunity to print the BDN northern edition. Although he said it is too early to predict what, if any, impact the expanded press run will have on employment numbers at the printing company, he said the immediate impact would result in more hours for the staff directly involved in producing the BDN.
    “This is a wonderful opportunity for our company. We appreciate the addition of the Bangor Daily News to our facility; it will allow our small company to return to full-employment levels that we haven’t seen in a number of years,” he said, adding “All of our weeklies have been in existence for well over 100 years. We remain committed to producing quality newspapers which accurately reflect the people and events of the communities they serve.”
    In addition to Tremblay, other managers at NEP include: Anita Adams, director of circulation and assistant director of business administration; Tom Emmert, director of information systems, graphic design and new media; Pam Lynch, director of business administration, finance and sales/marketing; Bob Maynard, director of production; and Mark Putnam, director of news.

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