Shutdown of printing plant throws local magazines a curveball

The Cadmus printing facility responsible for printing publications such as Virginia Living Magazine and Richmond Family Magazine will shut down due to the pandemic. (Photos courtesy Google Maps, Virginia Living Magazine and Richmond Family Magazine)

Some local magazines are on the hunt for a new printing press after a Lakeside print shop announced this week it would close.

Cadmus Specialty Publications, located at 2901 Byrdhill Road, is one of the latest casualties of the coronavirus pandemic. The facility will permanently close this month, and 184 employees will be laid off, according to a WARN notice filed Monday by Cenveo Worldwide Ltd., the facility’s owner.

A Richmond Family Magazine stand. (Submitted)

The plant shutdown was first reported by Virginia Business Magazine, one of the magazines that’s printed at the facility. Among other customers are Virginia Living Magazine and Richmond Family Magazine, all of which need to find new facilities to produce their publications.

Like other industries, publishing has been hit hard by the economic disruptions of the pandemic. Many advertisers have put their ad budgets on the chopping block, which in turn has cut into the revenues of publications. Some local news outlets have cut back on print publication as a result.

Cenveo said in its WARN notice that the effects of the pandemic had decreased the amount of work done at the facility, and that clients had either stopped publishing, or canceled or delayed jobs.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted our customers’ businesses and, in turn, has diminished the available work at the Facility. One large customer has ceased all work permanently, several publishers have cancelled or delayed their print projects, and nearly all comic production has ceased,” the notice read.

Margaret Thompson

Margaret Thompson, Richmond Family Magazine founder and publisher, said there were once several companies that could step up to fulfill the work done at Cadmus, but these days a local printer might not be an option.

“Unfortunately, with the ever-shrinking printing industry, finding a local replacement that is a fit for our page count and monthly printing quantity may be impossible,” she said.

Thompson said the magazine is seeking a replacement press, and Cenveo is working with the magazine to find that replacement. Thompson expected it wouldn’t be a Cenveo facility, and that the facility likely would be out of town.

Thompson didn’t anticipate a price increase or change of production schedule for Richmond Family Magazine, which is a free monthly magazine.

Virginia Living publisher John-Lawrence Smith also lamented the end of Cadmus. He said in an email that he hadn’t selected a replacement, though he anticipated the move wouldn’t disrupt the magazine’s current operation.

“I have not selected a new printer yet, and expect to negotiate a deal which includes no increase in costs, nor any other hurdles in doing business,” he said.

Virginia Business could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.


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