Publisher announces new press and projects

By on June 19, 2019

The press in the Greenfield Corporate Center will soon begin producing The Lititz Record Express, The Ephrata Review, LNP and other publications

Staff reports

Inviting Gov. Tom Wolf and 150 community leaders to Steinman Park to celebrate 225 years of newspapering, LNP Media Group, publisher of Lancaster’s daily newspaper, committed to a sustainable future Monday with the announcement of three redevelopment projects, each a boost to the downtown’s expanding renaissance.

The plans include LNP’s relocation to the rebuilt former Bulova building at 101 N. Queen St., the sale and redevelopment of its 8 W. King St. offices, and the sale and redevelopment of the former newspaper production building site to Willow Valley Communities for an urban retirement campus.

Robert M. Krasne, CEO of Steinman Communications and publisher of LNP, said the real estate projects are tied to the family-owned company’s ongoing commitment to local journalism at a time when many communities are seeing newspapers close.

Krasne announced that printing of LNP will return to Lancaster County after a five-year absence and that the Steinman family has decided to forgo dividends and will reinvest profits into LNP to keep the newspaper viable in these rocky times for print publications.

Production and some circulation workers will move to Hempstead Road in the Greenfield Corporate Center in East Lampeter Township, where a state-of-the-art press will begin printing LNP next April after its contract with a Mechanicsburg printer expires.

The press in the Greenfield Corporate Center in East Lampeter Township will soon begin producing Lancaster Farming, Ephrata Review, The Elizabethtown Advocate and The Lititz Record, which are now printed at a Steinman-owned press in Ephrata Borough.

Workers install a new printing press for the LNP newspaper at Greenfield Corporate Center in East Lampeter Twp. Wednesday June 5, 2019.

Workers install a new printing press for the LNP newspaper at Greenfield Corporate Center in East Lampeter Twp. Wednesday June 5, 2019.

The operation in the 48,000-square foot leased building at 1704 Hempstead Road will eventually be run by 30 to 40 employees, including the 12 positions that are being transferred from Ephrata, said Ralph Martin, executive vice president of Steinman Communications, parent company of LNP Media Group.

Martin said once everything is shifted over to Greenfield over the next several months, a decision will be made about what to do with the press in Ephrata.

It’s all part of charting a new direction for the company by resuming a core newspaper function.

“There’s just a lot of ‘new,’” Martin said. “And we’re anxious to get things started so we can see how the ‘new’ is working.”

LNP will be added to the printing schedule in April 2020 once its current printing contract expires with Advance Local in Mechanicsburg. That contract began in May 2015 when Steinman shifted production from downtown Lancaster to the regional printer in Mechanicsburg.

Krasne also announced that LNP’s archives, dating to 1795, will become available online through Newspapers.com, joining nearly 12,000 newspapers.

“Please know that LNP has not escaped the challenges facing our industry as revenues have dropped and expenses have risen,” Krasne said in remarks under a big tent. “But the path we are taking is different. While others emphasize digital first or cash flow for their shareholders first, LNP/LancasterOnline puts its readers first.”

Krasne emphasized LNP’s watchdog role in holding government leaders accountable through the filing of open records requests — over 100 in the past year — and litigation.

Gov. Wolf said feeling the heat from newspapers can be “uncomfortable, but it’s necessary.”

“We need you, LNP, to continue to play your part, shining your light into the darkest corners of our world, to expose corruption and to highlight greatness for all the years ahead,” Wolf said in formal remarks.

Earl Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of Dallas-based International News Media Association, called LNP Media Group “an intellectually curious company” that considers potential solutions from every source to figure out how to survive a challenging environment.

“While we celebrate their longevity and their past today,” Wilkinson said, “know that they are actively working on their future.”

“Nothing distinguishes LNP Media Group more than your love of Lancaster County,” he added. “You are creative. You are entrepreneurial. You want to reflect your community’s values.”

About 180 Steinman Communications employees will move to 101 N. Queen St., renamed 101NQ, in the first part of 2020.

LNP’s Sunday circulation is 75,777 and daily circulation is 60,344, according to its first-quarter report.

Details for the vacated offices at 8 W. King St., where the Steinman family’s newspapers operated since 1906, and several flanking buildings have not been disclosed.

The properties will be sold to Pittsburgh-based Zamagias Properties, a family-owned company that Krasne said has the expertise to revitalize architectural gems.

Willow Valley’s plans for LNP’s former production building and parking lot at South Queen and Vine streets will be disclosed soon.

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