LEWISTON — Monday night was the last shift for the printing press operated by Sun Media Group, as the group has now consolidated its print and distribution work to a facility in South Portland.

The newsroom, advertising, circulation and customer service employees will continue working in the building at 104 Park St., and the Sun Journal remains committed to serving local customers and producing local journalism.

A printing press has been operating in the Sun Journal’s downtown location for the past 125 years, printing thousands of publications, including the Lewiston Evening Journal, the Lewiston Daily Sun and, most recently, the Sun Journal and the newspaper group’s six weekly publications circulating in Oxford and Franklin counties. The current press, a Goss Urbanite, is between 40 and 45 years old, and was last updated two years ago.

The Lewiston press also printed the Bangor Daily News, The Times Record, The Courier newspapers and a variety of commercial jobs, including the Northwoods Sporting Journal. All of that work has been moved to a Masthead Maine printing facility in South Portland, which has newer printing presses and which also prints the Portland Press Herald, the Kennebec Journal, the Morning Sentinel and Sun Media Group’s Forecaster newspapers.

The press area in Lewiston will become a circulation depot for Sun Journal carriers with bundles delivered from South Portland, and it will also serve as the depot point for Sun Media Group’s western Maine weeklies.

In the past year, as part of an emerging industry trend toward consolidating press operations, the Philadelphia Inquirer, News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, the San Antonio Express-News, Tampa Bay Times, Courier Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, Hartford Courant, The Virginian-Pilot, and others have closed printing facilities and moved work to other plants, according to News & Tech, a news and publishing industry website.

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