Several years ago Hearst Connecticut Media Group that now enjoys the largest digital footprint in the state pulled out of 410 State Street downsizing to smaller editorial offices Downtown. Now it plans to push the stop button on its Bridgeport printing press shop for its Albany operation a few hours away.
This means earlier deadlines for reporters. Print editions of the news organization’s Connecticut papers including the Connecticut Post have collapsed dramatically in recent years with just a few thousand hard copy issues circulating in Bridgeport daily, according to the Alliance For Audited Media.
The good news for Hearst, unlike plummeting institutional print editions such as the Hartford Courant, is its burgeoning digital outreach which has now expanded into the Hartford region.
Hearst news story:
Hearst Connecticut Media Group announced Tuesday it plans to shutter its presses in Bridgeport, consolidating its printing press operations with Hearst’s Albany Times Union publication in New York.
Closing the print presses will impact 28 jobs. However, affected employees were “strongly encouraged” to apply for other production or distribution positions within the company, including in Connecticut and Albany, HCMG President and Publisher Mike DeLuca wrote in an email Tuesday to staff.
The decision to shift print operations was influenced in part by the “age and rising maintenance of the 40-year-old printing equipment” in Bridgeport, DeLuca said in the email. Albany Times Union has newer and more advanced printing presses that will deliver a quality product, he added.
“I have no doubt this modernization will extend the life of our physical print product and result in a better experience for our print readers,” DeLuca wrote in the email to staff.
The shift, which will take effect in July, will mean earlier print deadlines for HCMG’s eight daily newspapers: the Connecticut Post, New Haven Register, Danbury News-Times, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Norwalk Hour, The Middletown Press and the Register Citizen in Torrington.
Full story here.
So what’s going to happen to reporter Brian Leakhard, who always did a nice job for the Post?
…downsizing to smaller editorial offices Downtown.
Earlier deadlines mean “a better experience for our print readers.” If they say so, it must be true!
What does it say about journalism in the state of Connecticut — as well as the political zeitgeist of the “moaning 20’s” in Connecticut — when Bridgeport, the state’s largest city and birthplace/mother-city of the Connecticut Post and its Hearst satellite publications — has been relegated to the status of “non-entity” by professional journalism per its embodiment by the Hearst media empire?!
Another sad, symbolic day for Bridgeport…
To those looking at occurrences and happenings and trying to make sense of them over time:
*** Multiple hotels, then two, then only the Holiday Inn….POOF
***Multiple print news, then Bridgeport Telegram and Bridgeport Post, recent years CT Post and now they leave town without ceremony.
*** Radio? WPKN Signs of new life in downtown?
*** Bridgeport authorized Police Force, 460 personnel, current number, unavailable easily to the public paying for the safety….currently around 300
There are more data points, and possible corrections to those above. Where are they available to the taxpayer to undergird confidence in City administration? And when will Mayor Joseph Ganim step up to an explanation for why he, with the second longest mayoral term in Bridgeport history when connected together, has allowed two important boards and commissions, Fair Housing and Fair Rent, to die? They have died because he has allowed it to happen through no effective appointments to these groups for 15 years or more. When the only City groups with FAIR in their titles die without notice from City Hall, and stay on the City Directory lists what are we to think? City Hall does not have enough money? City Hall does not care about renter issues? City Hall has other interests that conflict with boards and commissions that are meant to answer to voters and taxpayers?
Changes in the City? Keep note? Time will tell.