Dave Obee: Changes ensure paper’s future

The Times Colonist plans to be here for many years to come — but we need to evolve to ensure we have a healthy future.

To that end, we announced to our staff on Friday that we will outsource the manufacturing departments of our business, and stop doing the work ourselves.

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We will concentrate on what we do best — providing a strong package of news for Vancouver Island, and a vital vehicle for advertisers who want to reach our readership base.

The Times Colonist remains one of the most vibrant newspapers in Canada. The changes announced Friday will help ensure our continued viability into the future.

The manufacturing aspects include the press and the mailroom, where newspapers and flyers are bundled for delivery to stores and carriers — and eventually to you.

These changes will take place by the end of September.

The shift to external printing is in line with industry trends. Many urban dailies throughout North America have made similar moves as they deal with downturns in advertising and circulation.

The daily newspaper business has been facing increasing challenges in recent years, and the Times Colonist has not been immune. Revenues have dropped, and our attempts at cost savings have not been able to keep up.

Last year, we sold the Times Colonist building. Proceeds from the sale were used to reduce debt.

As a result of that sale, the space occupied by the press and mailroom will no longer be available to us. A new building with a new press would not make financial sense.

By moving some of our work to dedicated printing companies, we can continue to provide our readers with their daily newspaper, but we will not face the significant capital expenditure that would come with opening a new press facility.

The Times Colonist remains committed to serving Victoria and Vancouver Island, as it has for almost 160 years.

We are determined to remain a strong voice — in print and online — for many more years.

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