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Trouble at the Washington Times?

The Washington Times which has been a conservative thorn in the side to the Wsahington Post for over 26 years is showing signs of financial trouble with their latest announcement.

From the Politico [1].

Washington Times General Manager Dick Amberg informed staff today that beginning on Sept. 8, they will outsource printing of the paper to The Baltimore Sun, according to a staff e-mail obtained by Politico. And on Oct. 1, the Times will outsource its “commercial printing operation to another plant that will be revealed soon.” In the coming months, the Times will close their plant and sell equipment.

Dear Washington Times Colleagues,
I want to inform you of a step we will be taking in the coming month that has some wonderful aspects – and some very sad ones. It is a step that will bring great benefit to the company, to advertising, and to readers, but will come at the cost of the jobs of many people in the Production Department.
On Sept. 8 we will outsource the printing of The Washington Times to The (Baltimore) Sun, and on Oct. 1 we will outsource our commercial printing operation to another plant that will be revealed soon.
There are many advantages of being printed by The Sun. Its big, modern presses allow us to print six sections instead of four, to print many more pages, to have more color, to print more quickly, to do more zoning, and to have better inserting. The economies of scale from printing two metropolitan papers at one plant lower costs while also providing more advertising opportunities and special section availabilities. More consistent news placement, better deadlines, and increased pages and flexibility will benefit our readers.
Outsourcing our printing was becoming absolutely necessary. Our current equipment and capabilities had become inadequate for the present and untenable for our planned growth. Our physical space limits our ability to expand our press capacity even if the cost was not prohibitive. Because our presses are old, we would need to spend many millions of dollars over the next few years just to tread water maintaining our current operating capacity.
The dedication, hard work and loyalty of our great production staff over these many years make this decision very painful. We researched our production situation thoroughly, and concluded that outsourcing was a necessary move to advance our company’s climb toward profitability.

We will do all that we can to assist Production employees impacted by this step. The Pre-Press operation will continue as a component of the Editorial Department, some production workers will remain for a matter of months as we close the plant and sell equipment and consumables, and some workers may have the opportunity for employment at The Sun or in other departments of The Washington Times. A number of other things are being done to make the impact as small as possible.

We will provide more information as it becomes available.
Dick Amberg
General Manager

Combine this with the elimination of the Saturday edition earlier this year and it makes me wonder how deep the financial problems are at the paper and how long they will continue to publish.