Thursday, 29 November 2007

Ottawa presses

The Ottawa Sun is regaining control of its press runs - a year after the "disastrous" move to Quebecor's printing plant in Mirabel, Que.

Sun Media ads for an Ottawa Sun "mailroom supervisor" in Wednesday's papers confirmed recent rumours that presses at the Ottawa Press Hall would be rolling again early in 2008.

Numerous Help Wanted ads for long-term jobs at the Ottawa Press Hall, located in an industrial park about 10 km east of the Sun building, will be posted in the next week or so.

Having the Ottawa Sun printed two hours away in Mirabel was a "disastrous experiment" which played havoc with news and sports deadlines and distribution in bad weather, a source told TSF.

Sources say part of management's explanation is expansion plans at Mirabel "require production of the Ottawa Sun, Ottawa Pennysaver and some other papers to be relocated."

Whatever the reason, it is good news for the Sun and subscribers who want their paper on time.

Nothing makes the editors of daily newspapers feel more complete than having full control of the presses. Founders of the Toronto Sun knew that from the start.

With the printing of the Ottawa Sun and the Pennysaver returning to Ottawa, there is talk of expanding the press facilities or constructing a new facility. Some Ottawa-area Osprey newspapers now owned by Quebecor could be added to the print job portfolio.

So Quebecor's newspaper plans for its two new printing plants have proven to be misguided. The London Free Press and Toronto Sun were to be printed at the new plant in Toronto. The London decision was later reversed and chances are the Sun presses at 333 King Street East will be given a full reprieve following chaotic press run attempts at the new plant.

Those glittering new printing plants in Mirabel and Toronto apparently will stick to Quebecor's prime targets - telephone directories and other commercial products.

Meanwhile, Ottawa Sun employees await the return of pressroom workers who transferred to Mirabel last fall.

We are sure they will be welcomed back with open arms.

What a difference a year makes. Sanity is returning to the Sun newspaper chain and it feels like the rising of the Phoenix.

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