Vertis closes Md. plant that printed Examiner

March 05, 2009|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

Baltimore-based Vertis Communications has closed a printing plant in Belcamp in Harford County and laid off 105 workers, blaming the loss of business after the Baltimore Examiner folded last month, the advertising and marketing company said yesterday.

The plant, which closed Tuesday, had printed the free newspaper, which ceased publication Feb. 15.

"Last month's closure of the Baltimore Examiner represented a significant loss in business to the Belcamp facility, leading to the ultimate decision to transfer the work from that facility to other Vertis locations," the company said in a statement.

The Examiner shut down after less than three years in Baltimore, blaming one of the worst advertising climates in decades in a recession that has brought newspaper closures, layoffs and bankruptcies.

The Belcamp printing plant, which also produced advertising inserts, had been part of Brentwood, Tenn.-based American Color Graphics Inc. and was inherited by Vertis when the two companies merged in October.

Vertis has done commercial printing for Baltimore Sun Media Group, publisher of The Baltimore Sun, but has not done any work for the company from the Belcamp plant, BSMG spokeswoman Judy Berman said.

Vertis underwent a so-called prepackaged bankruptcy, completed in October, which enabled it to merge with its former competitor. American Color Graphics' 15 production facilities were brought into the merged company.

Vertis, which has 100 locations worldwide and about 7,000 employees, will maintain its headquarters in Baltimore with about 100 employees, the company said.

In addition to the Belcamp plant, Vertis is closing a plant in Chicago and laying off 160 workers there.

The work that had been done at the two plants will be moved to other Vertis Communications locations, the company said.

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