Today is the last day the Cedar Rapids Gazette will be printed locally, ending a tradition that’s lasted 138 years.

Starting tomorrow, the paper’s printing will move to Gannett Publishing Services in Des Moines. Daniel Goldstein, CEO of the Gazette’s parent company, says stopping the presses was a necessary move. “Anything that can decrease costs increases the sustainability of the organization and this is absolutely essential to continuing that,” Goldstein says. “We are committed to maintaining what has been our 138 year legacy.”

Goldstein says the decision to shut down the paper’s printing operations was forced by consolidation across the industry, and he shared his admiration for the printing staff. “They’ve worked, many of them, night shifts for, as you said, decades,” he says. “It’s not the most glamorous job, but they’ve built a community, a family, and I think that’s why they have a lot of sadness.”

Goldstein says while outsourcing the printing of the paper is a loss, it will help preserve the core of the Gazette: its newsroom. About 40 people will lose their jobs as a result of the closure of the printing operation.

(By Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio)