LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Courier Journal’s printing and packaging facility located in downtown Louisville will close in March, putting 102 people out of jobs.
The printing and packaging facility broke ground in 2002, but 18 years later, will shut its doors for good and no longer produce the Louisville newspaper.
The change will be the first time since the paper was founded that it will not be printed in the city, instead being trucked in from Indianapolis and Knoxville.
Eighty-four full-time and 18 part-time positions were eliminated.
"They showed tons of dedication to the company and it is a shame that dedication is not being returned now," said Israel Castro, a representative with Teamsters District Council 3, which represents the press operators.
Castro said 22 of his members will be impacted.
"Frankly, they deserve better from the company and we'll do everything we can to make sure out folks get through this," Castro said. "They made it pretty clear late yesterday that they do not think it will be feasible to change the decision, and we will have to focus on the effects of the decision, such as severance, health insurance, help with job relocation or possible hiring at other facilities where the papers are moving."
Company officials said delivery is not expected to be impacted, but former editorial page editor Keith Runyon believes it might impact deadlines.
"At least having a printing press in your own building made it possible to respond quickly to news," Runyon said.
Runyon worked for the Courier Journal for 43 years, retiring in 2012 as the editorial page editor.
"This is a very sad day," Runyon said.
The March 8th edition will be the last paper printed in Louisville. Runyon hopes the newspaper's history will be preserved.
"Hundreds of thousands of archived photographs sit, just, in the dark," Runyon said.
Company officials said news teams will remain in Louisville.
A small group of affected employees will stay on temporarily to help move equipment, remove the press and clean the production area.
Gannett's Director of Communications released a statement saying:
"Where the newspaper is printed does not impact our ability to provide outstanding journalism and service to our readers, advertisers and communities. We remain deeply committed to serving Louisville and the surrounding markets, as we have for more than 100 years."