UPDATE: On or about Nov. 1, 2011, The Signal started printing at The Ventura County Star. The Signal’s press foreman was laid off.
The Signal newspaper is “seriously considering outsourcing its printing” in an effort to “improve both the quality of its products and the efficiency of its operations,” Interim Publisher Morris Thomas announced Friday in a posting on the paper’s website, The-Signal.com.
Thomas termed the company’s aging press “a beloved fixture at the 92-year-old newspaper” but said it “has become too expensive to maintain.”
Moving the print operations to an outside vendor “seems to be the best alternative for the company,” his statement said, adding that it “follows a trend by many newspapers both regionally and nationally.”
The statement said a change in print operations would move The Signal forward technologically and will lead to “better-looking and easier-to-read print products.”
“No interruptions in service to (The Signal’s) readers are expected during the transition,” his statement said.
Thomas told SCVNews.com that no changes to the print operations have yet been implemented. The paper is still being printed at The Signal building on Creekside Road in Valencia, and no press room workers have been laid off, Thomas said.
Founded in Newhall in 1919 as a weekly, The Signal moved to daily publication – and to Valencia – in the 1980s under the ownership of Charles Morris, who purchased the paper in 1978. Today it is the Santa Clarita Valley’s only local daily newspaper, and the Morris family holds the record for length of ownership.
During most of that time, The Signal doubled as a print shop for other customers. The Signal has almost always printed its own newspaper except during emergencies when the presses were down, such as the day of the 1994 Northridge earthquake.