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Company moving West Central Tribune printing to a new location

The printing of the West Central Tribune's print editions on Wednesdays and Saturdays is moving to the Forum Communications Printing plant in Sioux Falls, S.D., effective Sept. 22. The West Central Tribune will continue to maintain an office and news, sales and customer service staff in Willmar.

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The West Central Tribune press prints the Showcase and Channel section in this May 2020 file photo. Tribune photo by Erica Dischino

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Forum Communications Co. announced this week it will move printing operations of the West Central Tribune, its affiliated publications and commercial printing customers to the Forum Communications Printing plant in Sioux Falls, effective Sept. 22.

The West Central Tribune’s print edition will continue to be published and delivered via U.S. mail on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Sept 23 print edition will be the first Tribune printed at the company’s Sioux Falls plant.

The newspaper’s e-paper edition and the newspaper’s website, wctrib.com, will continue to be published seven days a week. Breaking news will be published daily on wctrib.com.

“The demand for news and information continues to evolve with changing technology. We are required to change and adapt as well, as the industry and economy evolve,” said Aaron Becher, vice president of newspapers for Forum Communications Co.

“Due to the economic changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, our industry has to hit the fast forward button to implement needed changes to gain efficiencies and cost savings,” said Steve Ammermann, West Central Tribune publisher. “The Tribune remains focused on our primary role as a news and information provider. We remain committed to serving Willmar, Kandiyohi County and the rest of west central Minnesota.”

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Forum Communications in 2015 opened its 45,000-square-foot printing facility at 5208 North Annika Ave. in Sioux Falls. The plant also prints the company’s Worthington, Minn., and Mitchell, S.D., newspapers and their affiliated publications.

FCP's Sioux Falls plant has a DMG 450 (5x4 high) press, which has increased page capacity and color capabilities.

The Tribune’s pages will be produced in PDF digital format and transmitted electronically to the Sioux Falls plant by 7 p.m. each Tuesday and Friday. After printing, inserting and packaging operations are completed, the printed edition will be shipped to Willmar and then be distributed to single copy dealers and delivered to the U.S. Postal Service for final distribution to our subscribers.

The Sunday Reminder will also be printed at the Sioux Falls plant and be shipped to Willmar for Saturday delivery by the U.S. Postal Service to non-subscribers in Kandiyohi County.

The Tribune has published a print edition for 125 years,” said Tribune editor Kelly Boldan. “As the technology became available, the newspaper first published on the web at wctrib.com in 1997 and then launched our first e-paper in 2003.”

“Today, the majority of our digital members read content via their mobile devices — mobile phones and tablets. As the technology changes and readers adapt, our newspaper will continue to adapt as well,” he said.

Due to the printing location change, the Tribune’s print deadline, effected Sept. 22, will be moved to 7 p.m. the night prior to print publications.

This change will impact some content in the print edition. Thus, some sports game results and lottery numbers will not be available in time for the print edition deadline. The newspaper plans to publish late results on wctrib.com and in the Tribune’s E-paper edition.

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The West Central Tribune, first published in 1895, has printed at its 2208 Trott Ave. S.W. location in Willmar since 1980. Purchased by Forum Communications in 1979, the company moved to its Willmar Industrial Park location in 1980 and installed an eight-unit Goss Community offset press.

The newspaper plans to list its 30,000-square-foot building at 2208 Trott Ave. S.W. for lease or sale in the near future. The current building has more space than the newspaper requires to operate.

The West Central Tribune will continue to maintain an office and news, sales and customer service staff in Willmar.

Single copies of the newspaper on Wednesdays and Saturdays will continue to be sold at area retail outlets.

The closing of the Willmar printing facility will result in the loss of five full-time and several part-time positions. The press will be decommissioned.

For questions or concerns, readers may email news@wctrib.com or call publisher Steve Ammermann at 320-214-4307.

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