2017-05-18 / Community

Star closes production facility in Camarillo

The Ventura County Star will close its printing facilities in Camarillo and contract the Los Angeles Times to print the newspaper in a cost-cutting move that will impact some three dozen production department employees, the company announced.

The Times will begin printing the Star at a 325,000-square-foot facility in Los Angeles starting with the July 12 edition, according to a recent report in the Star.

The switch in production facilities won’t change delivery times or affect the design of the paper, Star president Mark Winkler said on May 4. Subscribers won’t notice any change, he said.

Winkler did not return a phone call and email seeking comment for this story.

In all, 38 production department employees will be laid off once the transition to the Times facility is complete. The company will offer the displaced workers job-referral help and other employment assistance, Winkler said.

He cited declining advertising revenue as the reason for the layoffs. Winkler said the decision will allow the newspaper to prioritize its resources “on areas that most matter to the community and businesses.”

In addition to the production job losses, five people in the Star’s newsroom were laid off on May 3, the company said.

The Star’s production facility is adjacent to its main office building at 550 Camarillo Center

Drive, which the company announced last November it would be selling. Winkler said the production building would also be put on the market.

If a buyer for the Star’s office building is found, Winkler said, the plan is to relocate the paper’s operations within a few miles of its current Camarillo location.

Winkler, also president of The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, took over the Star’s operations in October, succeeding former publisher Shanna Cannon.

In April 2016, Virginia-based media giant Gannett purchased the Star and 15 other dailies when it acquired parent company Journal Media Group of Milwaukee for $280 million.

Hector Gonzalez

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