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Commercial printers move close to Merc

A is the Chron’s printer, Transcon. B is the Merc.
C is the future plant of Southwest Offset.

When the Chronicle decided to shut down its presses and outsource the work of printing the paper every night to an outside company, it hired a Canadian printer, Transcontinental. Transcon decided to build its $200 million, 350,000-square-foot plant to print the San Francisco paper at 47540 Kato Road in Fremont (“A” on the map).

The plant is 41 miles from the Chronicle’s offices at Fifth and Mission in San Francisco. But it is only 7.9 miles from the Mercury News press room at 750 Ridder Park Drive near the intersection of I-880 and Brokaw Road (“B”).

In January, Southwest Offset Printing is moving its plant from Redwood City to a 68,502-square-foot facility at 587 Charcot in north San Jose (“C”). That plant will be 1.9 miles from the Merc. SOP will be printing USA Today, the Financial Times, the Salinas Californian, the Palo Alto Daily Post, Palo Alto Weekly, Menlo Park Almanac and Mountain View Voice from that location.

Transcon, in addition to the Chron, has picked up three editions of Metro Newspapers that used to be printed by the Merc, and is looking for more customers, according to News & Tech.

“It’s slow but steady,” said Transcon Operations Manager Mike Bany about the continuing maturation of the facility, according to News & Tech. He said Transcon’s primary goal is the production of the Chronicle. But now that the plant’s press and packaging workers have more experience, Transcon execs are ready to compete for more commercial business.

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