The Brainerd Dispatch will be expanding its printing operation starting Monday, April 5.
The Dispatch facility will more than double its production when it takes over printing of other Forum newspapers like The Duluth News Tribune, Superior Telegram and Pine Journal of Carlton County (Cloquet). Brainerd will also be printing for almost a dozen other Northern Minnesota commercial customers.
The move helps diversify revenues for the Dispatch while helping its parent company, Forum Communications, be more efficient with production expenses, said Dispatch Publisher Pete Mohs.
“We’re proud to have this opportunity to expand our printing business,” Mohs said. “At a time when some printing operations are closing down, it’s encouraging that Brainerd will still be printing.”
The only other newsprint facilities owned by Forum Communications are in Detroit Lakes and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Forum does have a magazine printing facility in Fargo.
“Detroit Lakes and Sioux Falls are larger printing facilities, but we’re the only Forum plant that also has a newspaper operation in the building,” Mohs said. “Commercial printing has been a big part of our operation in Brainerd since we gained our first customer, the Crosby-Ironton Courier, about 50 years ago. We still print the Courier, which reflects the admirable printing quality and customer service that we provide.”
Mohs said the Brainerd facility has been blessed with talented people who have maintained its Goss Community Press, which is in the process of being expanded and upgraded for the expansion.
“We added a third color unit four years ago, and now we’re adding a fourth color unit,” Mohs said. “That will give us a total of 16 color pages in one press run.”
Mohs added that, for now, the expansion will not affect Dispatch, Echo Journal and Echoland Shopper print edition readers.
“The Duluth printing work really fits well with our current schedule so we’re planning to keep most of our deadlines the same,” Mohs said.
The project will add valuable revenues that benefit the Brainerd market’s overall operation.
“We have already invested money to upgrade our facility and staff,” said Mohs, who added that this Dispatch is in the process of hiring five-seven additional staff. “And some of the new revenue will be used to support other departments, especially keeping our news coverage strong for years to come.”