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Review to become a tabloid weekly, printing facility closing

Sound Publishing Inc., the parent of the Bainbridge Review, announced several cost-cutting moves Wednesday – including suspending operations at the company's printing facility on the island, effective Jan. 2, 2009.

The company, which is the largest publisher of community and suburban newspapers in Washington, also changed the publishing frequency, day of publication and the format of the Review and several of its other Kitsap News Group newspapers.

Beginning on Jan. 9, the Review, North Kitsap Herald and Port Orchard Independent will switch from twice-weekly publications to weeklies that will be printed each Friday. The newspapers' also will be changed from broadsheet to tabloid. The Central Kitsap Reporter, Bremerton Patriot and North West Navigator also will be published on Fridays as tabloids.

All Sound Publishing products will now be printed at the company's state-of-the-art facility in Everett, according to Sound President Manfred Tempelmayr. He said 44 jobs will be lost with the Bainbridge facility's closure, though 12 to 15 of the employees will be offered jobs in printing, mailroom or office when the moved to Everett occurs. He added that each employee affected by the closure will receive a severance package.

Tempelmayr said a combination of challenges facing the publishing industry and the general weak economy led to the decision.

"There's no question the economy is taking its toll on every business," he said. "Coupled with that, the publishing industry is going through a major transformation that will lead to reduction in printed products and an increase in our online offerings. Sound Publishing is a strong and viable company and we need to ensure that we take steps to build on that strength."

The Review office will continue to be located in the Day Road building. The newspaper, which has served the island since 1923, switched from a broadsheet to a tabloid in 1990, became a twice-weekly paper in 1995 and returned to the broadsheet form in 1999.

Tempelmayr said the press will remain in the Day Road facility because of the possibility of business returning to it when the economy improves. While the facility primarily printed Sound publications, the Port Townsend Leader has been printed on Bainbridge for many years. The Bainbridge facility will continue to serve as a staging area for the delivery of newspapers in Kitsap County.

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