Post-Tribune may close NWI newsroom

2012-12-20T11:50:00Z Post-Tribune may close NWI newsroomBy Times Staff nwitimes.com
December 20, 2012 11:50 am  • 

The Post-Tribune may be closing its Northwest Indiana newsroom while retaining a small number of reporters here to work from home, under a proposal from Sun-Times Media Group Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk.

It appears the Merrillville-based newspaper will continue to publish, but the shuttering of its news operation at 1433 E. 83rd Ave. would represent the end of its physical presence in the region after a 105-year run.

Kirk's memo was distributed to all Sun-Times Media Group newspapers Thursday, and Kirk will come to Merrillville on Friday to meet with employees. All the changes would be complete by March, according to the memo.

Neither Kirk nor Post-Tribune Publisher Lisa Tatina returned a call seeking more information Thursday afternoon.

In his memo, Kirk stated the shuttering of all the newspaper group's Chicago-area publications is being done to promote a "digital first" strategy.

The memo stated: "Print will be with us for some time, but not forever. We cannot wait for change to come without being prepared. Otherwise we're dead."

Kirk stated his memo was a proposal, which still has to be approved by Publisher Tim Knight. However, the timelines and specifics included in the six-page memo indicate it is the result of many months of work by Sun-Times Media Group management.

The future of the Sun-Times Media Group-owned Star newspaper in Crown Point is unclear. Kirk does not mention visiting Crown Point in his memo.

Kirk stated he does not anticipate cutting jobs. However, he said there may be job "redundancy" and determinations will be made later on positions.

Five years ago, the Post-Tribune transferred all its printing from its former headquarters on Broadway in Gary to the Chicago plant of its parent, the Sun-Times Media Group. More recently, the Sun-Times Media Group closed its printing plant and transferred that work to the Chicago Tribune Media Group's Chicago plant.

Not long after the announcement of the transfer of the Gary printing operation, the newspaper announced it would be closing its last remaining region news bureau in Valparaiso. At about the same time, it placed its Merrillville newsroom building up for sale. It also once ran an office on the Crown Point square, which has been put up for sale.

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