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Vallejo newspaper will relocate staff to Vacaville office

Officials cite changing media landscape, including struggles brought on by COVID-19, as reason for relocation

Officials cite changing media landscape, including struggles brought on by COVID-19, as reason for relocation

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The Vallejo Times Herald says it will consolidate much of its staff into the office of its sister publication in Vacaville, the newspaper said in a story on Friday.

Publisher Jim Gleim said the move was needed due to the shifting media landscape that has hammered advertising and subscription revenue at it and other newspapers throughout the country.

The Times-Herald has been based in a downtown Vallejo office since 2016. A handful of employees will remain there to run a small bureau after the newspaper’s overall operation is moved to Vacaville, the paper said.

The Times-Herald bills itself as “one of California’s oldest newspapers” and has served the Vallejo and surrounding areas for nearly 100 years. But as the Times Herald and other papers have found, longevity has not been enough to keep local readers paying for the print products as eyeballs shift toward faster, cheaper digital sources of news.

Businesses have also pulled advertisement money from traditional print products, putting their funds toward cheaper and more-targeted digital services offered by Google, Facebook and others. Online advertisement products allow companies to zero in on a particular demographic of consumer and typically offer ways for companies to gauge the effectiveness of their ads — features that print media companies either don’t offer or have been slow to integrate.

Jack Bungart, the editor of the Times-Herald, said the decrease in advertisement revenue coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 health pandemic triggered the company’s recent decision to consolidate its operation into its Vacaville office. That office, located in the Umpqua Bank building off Davis Street, is home to the Vacaville Reporter newspaper.

“Our digital product has long since made this a 24/7 job where reporters and editors do their work from a variety of locations,” Bungart told the newspaper. “This is the case more than ever with [COVID-19] having such a strong effect on our business.”

It was not immediately clear if there would be any staff reductions as part of the consolidation of operations.

The Times-Herald and the Reporter are owned by Digital First Media, which also operates the Woodland Daily Democrat, the Chico Enterprise Record, the Contra Costa Times, the Oakland Tribune and the San Jose Mercury News among other California newspapers.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).