Stirling Press is shutting down operations.
A division of Stirling Communications International (SCI), which also operates NTV, OZ FM and The Newfoundland Herald, the company provided a variety of high-end printing services to a number of clients.
The employees received the news today.
"There is some news out," said operations manager Greg Noseworthy, in a telephone interview. He did not confirm when the presses would stop rolling, but did say "eventually that will happen."
Noseworthy then suggested I contact Scott Stirling of SCI for more information. There is no point speculating on what happened until I get more information, though it may be safe to assume that the operation was not earning sufficient profit. I know that Stirling Press also prints The Newfoundland Herald, so they couldn't have taken this decision lightly. (I left a message for Mr. Stirling late Thursday afternoon and will update you as I hear more.)
At this time, it is not clear how many employees will lose their jobs, or if any can be absorbed by other divisions of SCI. The closure will leave Transcontinental as the only high-end printing operation in the city, a less than ideal situation for those who appreciate a competitive bidding process for their printing needs.
"I am a bit worried about what it will mean for us when we go to tender next year," said David Sorensen, editor of the Gazette, the official newspaper of Memorial University of Newfoundland. "We had only two responses to our tender call and one is now out of business. The competition kept prices low. The Gazette has been printed by R-B, now Transcon, and Stirling over the years and I like dealing with both shops."
I worked at The Newfoundland Herald for most of the 1980s, and can still recall the smell of the ink there (my office was right next to the printing floor). I have so many memories of those presses, and the wacky, wonderful guys who made them roll.
This is a sad day indeed, for everyone connected to the operation and those who availed of its services.