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North County colleges halt newspaper runs

Worries increase as L.A. Times needs to "rescue" U-T Community Press

Phyllis Pfeiffer: "San Diego’s sole offset printer went out of business in August."
Phyllis Pfeiffer: "San Diego’s sole offset printer went out of business in August."

The fate of traditional newspapers in San Diego appears to be on the line in more ways than one, as two North County colleges shutter their print editions and a chain of weekly county papers owned by Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong says his L.A. Times has had to come to the "rescue" by printing the San Diego papers at that paper's ultimately closing Olympic Boulevard plant in Los Angeles.

"San Diego’s sole offset printer went out of business in August, causing printing chaos among local publishers," writes Phyllis Pfeiffer, publisher of the U-T Community Press, in an October 7 note to readers of the Encinitas Advocate and other weeklies of the chain, including the Rancho Santa Fe Review, Poway News Chieftain, Rancho Bernardo News Journal, Del Mar Times, Ramona Sentinel, Carmel Valley News and Solana Beach Sun.

Palomar's Erin Hiro worries that without a print version "the campus community will forget that we have a campus newspaper."

"The Los Angeles Times has come to the Advocate’s rescue," says the statement, a similar version of which appeared in all the papers, advising that the format of the publications had to be changed to accommodate the newsprint size required by the L.A. presses.

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"Your Encinitas Advocate is now taller so that we can run on the presses of our parent company.

"We’ve had to make this change almost overnight, so watch during the next few weeks as we enrich the design and bring you even more news in our expanded format.

The chain's flagship, the La Jolla Light, shifted its printing to Orange County, per an August 31 missive to readers of that publication about delivery changes.

"Papers are now printed in Anaheim, and we’ve had to adjust our delivery windows to compensate for the trucking times," per the note.

"It has been a challenging few years for newspapers, compounded by a pandemic, supply chain disruptions, rapidly escalating costs, and staffing and paper shortages. The Light has weathered these storms and is stronger than ever."

The shift of the U-T Community News printing to L.A. comes at a less than propitious juncture, as plans to redevelop the facility as a film studio, with former press rooms slated to house luxury bars and restaurants for stars and producers, according to plans approved by the L.A. planning commission earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the Palomar College Telescope has terminated its print version, the North Coast Current has reported in an October 12 online dispatch.

"After two years of careful thought and discussion, Palomar’s campus newspaper will no longer have a print edition delivered to campus. Instead, the independent, student newspaper will publish only on its website and social media," says an October 12 statement by Professor Erin Hiro, on the paper's website.

Hiro worries in the statement that without a print version "the campus community will forget that we have a campus newspaper."

"We don’t want to bombard your inbox, but we have important stories that the students are writing about Palomar. We hope you will routinely check our website, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media."

California State University San Marcos's paper, the Cougar Chronicle, has also dropped print, according to the Current story.

"'The Cougar Chronicle has ceased print publication,' a rolling banner across the student news site’s front page states. 'We will be moving to an online-focused model until further notice.'"

According to an October 7 account by the Current, "Advantage ColorGraphics purchased the last printing plant for newspapers in San Diego County — Advanced Web Offset of Vista — in August.

"Almost immediately, as Encinitas-based Coast News reported, operations shifted to Advantage’s home location in Anaheim. At the time, The Coast News quoted the company’s management as saying they 'will continue to service your account as we transition each of you into Advantage’s modern expansive operations.'"

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Phyllis Pfeiffer: "San Diego’s sole offset printer went out of business in August."
Phyllis Pfeiffer: "San Diego’s sole offset printer went out of business in August."

The fate of traditional newspapers in San Diego appears to be on the line in more ways than one, as two North County colleges shutter their print editions and a chain of weekly county papers owned by Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong says his L.A. Times has had to come to the "rescue" by printing the San Diego papers at that paper's ultimately closing Olympic Boulevard plant in Los Angeles.

"San Diego’s sole offset printer went out of business in August, causing printing chaos among local publishers," writes Phyllis Pfeiffer, publisher of the U-T Community Press, in an October 7 note to readers of the Encinitas Advocate and other weeklies of the chain, including the Rancho Santa Fe Review, Poway News Chieftain, Rancho Bernardo News Journal, Del Mar Times, Ramona Sentinel, Carmel Valley News and Solana Beach Sun.

Palomar's Erin Hiro worries that without a print version "the campus community will forget that we have a campus newspaper."

"The Los Angeles Times has come to the Advocate’s rescue," says the statement, a similar version of which appeared in all the papers, advising that the format of the publications had to be changed to accommodate the newsprint size required by the L.A. presses.

Sponsored
Sponsored

"Your Encinitas Advocate is now taller so that we can run on the presses of our parent company.

"We’ve had to make this change almost overnight, so watch during the next few weeks as we enrich the design and bring you even more news in our expanded format.

The chain's flagship, the La Jolla Light, shifted its printing to Orange County, per an August 31 missive to readers of that publication about delivery changes.

"Papers are now printed in Anaheim, and we’ve had to adjust our delivery windows to compensate for the trucking times," per the note.

"It has been a challenging few years for newspapers, compounded by a pandemic, supply chain disruptions, rapidly escalating costs, and staffing and paper shortages. The Light has weathered these storms and is stronger than ever."

The shift of the U-T Community News printing to L.A. comes at a less than propitious juncture, as plans to redevelop the facility as a film studio, with former press rooms slated to house luxury bars and restaurants for stars and producers, according to plans approved by the L.A. planning commission earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the Palomar College Telescope has terminated its print version, the North Coast Current has reported in an October 12 online dispatch.

"After two years of careful thought and discussion, Palomar’s campus newspaper will no longer have a print edition delivered to campus. Instead, the independent, student newspaper will publish only on its website and social media," says an October 12 statement by Professor Erin Hiro, on the paper's website.

Hiro worries in the statement that without a print version "the campus community will forget that we have a campus newspaper."

"We don’t want to bombard your inbox, but we have important stories that the students are writing about Palomar. We hope you will routinely check our website, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media."

California State University San Marcos's paper, the Cougar Chronicle, has also dropped print, according to the Current story.

"'The Cougar Chronicle has ceased print publication,' a rolling banner across the student news site’s front page states. 'We will be moving to an online-focused model until further notice.'"

According to an October 7 account by the Current, "Advantage ColorGraphics purchased the last printing plant for newspapers in San Diego County — Advanced Web Offset of Vista — in August.

"Almost immediately, as Encinitas-based Coast News reported, operations shifted to Advantage’s home location in Anaheim. At the time, The Coast News quoted the company’s management as saying they 'will continue to service your account as we transition each of you into Advantage’s modern expansive operations.'"

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1

When you stop publishing even a limited print run of your paper, that leaves you at the mercy of Google and other search engines and Internet providers. It also destroys archiving in the way newspapers have been preserved for a century. We will lose chunks of local history in the next thirty years, just watch.

Oct. 16, 2022

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