PITTSFIELD >> As a result of the pending sale of the Brattleboro Reformer building to the town of Brattleboro, Vt., the Reformer's press is being relocated to the Clock Tower building on South Church Street, home to The Berkshire Eagle and the main printing operation of New England Newspapers Inc.
The move is the result of several transactions that will result in the Reformer building becoming Brattleboro's new police station.
Like The Eagle, the Reformer newspaper business, but not the building it occupies, changed hands on May 1, when New England Newspapers Inc. was sold to a group of investors based in Berkshire County.
The Reformer building was retained by the Reformer's former owner, Digital First Media, which had negotiated an option for the town to purchase the building for the purpose of converting it to a new police station.
When that option is exercised, most likely in October, a 2,200-square-foot portion is expected to be leased back to the Reformer for its newsroom, advertising sales, and circulation department offices. The town is not able to lease out sufficient space to permit continued printing operations there.
The Reformer itself has been printed in Pittsfield for several years, with the press in Brattleboro continuing to be used for commercial printing work. That work will shift in September, with the press, to Pittsfield.
In Pittsfield, the Brattleboro press will join a much larger press on which The Eagle, Reformer and Bennington (Vt.) Banner are printed along with printing for other clients.
As well, the Pittsfield facility houses a sheet-fed printing operation, bindery, mailing and inserting equipment, which permits NENI to offer a full range of services to publishers of periodicals on newsprint, from printing to binding, packaging, mailing and distribution.
Six Brattleboro pressroom employees are being offered positions in Pittsfield as part of the relocation.
"We are committed to growing both the newspapers and the commercial printing business of NENI," said Fredric Rutberg, president of the company. "We hope the Brattleboro press employees will join us in Pittsfield, but meanwhile in Brattleboro, we've added several new news and sales jobs."
Since the acquisition of NENI in May, about 20 new jobs have been added companywide, Rutberg said, in order to improve editorial quality as well as sales, production and administrative capacity.
As part of an ongoing transition, the family of newspapers in New England Newpapers Inc. and their websites are being redesigned, with a new look expected to be unveiled on Nov. 1.