FORT SMITH (KFSM) – Stephens Media, owner of the Southwest Times Record, announced on Wednesday (July 30) that it would be moving all printing and mailroom operations from the Fort Smith and Van Buren production facilities to Springdale and Lowell, resulting in 37 layoffs.
The move will “increase the color capacity of the newspapers and improve packaging and mailroom efficiency,” the report states.
All moving operations will be done by the start of September, according to the report.
“With our partnership in northwest Arkansas, and the newer production equipment in use there, we saw this as an opportunity to upgrade production capacity of the Times Record,” said Ed Moss, President and CEO of Stephens Media.
A total of 37 employees will be laid off as a result of the shift, the report states.
There will be positions available in Northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith that will be offered to current employees, according to the report.
“It’s hard anytime you have to stand in front of a group of people and tell them their jobs are going away and especially in a case like this where this isn’t really any fault of their’s. I mean, this group of people downtown and in Van Buren, they have done so much with the equipment that we’ve had for them,” said Publisher Tom Stallbaumer.