CHARLOTTE — North Carolina’s only statewide newspaper will soon be printed in Charlotte along with several other regional and national publications after the completion of an acquisition announced on Tuesday. The newly formed Charlotte Publishing Company, Inc. will operate the former Charlotte Observer printing facility at 9140 Research Dr. in Charlotte.
“The addition of printing capabilities strengthens North State Journal’s position as a leader in print newspapers in the South,” said Neal Robbins, president of Charlotte Publishing Company and publisher of North State Journal. “The long-term viability of North Carolina’s independent press requires high quality printing, and the Charlotte facility is second to none.”
Charlotte Publishing Company is acquiring the printing assets of The McClatchy Company located at the Research Drive location. The plant was built in 1982 as a printing site for The Wall Street Journal and was acquired in 2013 by McClatchy, where it printed the Charlotte Observer and several other McClatchy-owned newspapers as well as The Wall Street Journal. North State Media, the parent company of North State Journal, acquired the building and land at 9140 Research Dr. in late 2022.
The facility will maintain its status as a hub for regional and national newspapers.
Tuesday’s announcement is the latest in the continued expansion of the North State footprint. In May, North State Media acquired the Chatham News & Record, one of the oldest newspapers in North Carolina.
North State Journal prints its flagship statewide edition weekly with readership in all 100 counties as well as six local editions in Chatham, Forsyth, Hoke, Moore, Randolph and Stanly counties.
William King, the new chief operating officer of Charlotte Publishing Company, has 34 years of experience in the newspaper industry and will lead the plant’s transition to new ownership. King has extensive experience at the Charlotte facility having previously served as a regional vice president for The McClatchy Company.
“This move ensures the long-term future of printing at this facility,” said King. “I am looking forward to joining the North State Journal team and reuniting with some of my former colleagues at the Charlotte plant.”
Trip Hoffend, the new senior vice president, has 24 years of manufacturing experience. Hoffend, a graduate of the Wake Forest University School of Business where he earned an MBA, has multi-industry experience with mergers, acquisitions and business transitions.
“We are looking forward to working with the great people at the Charlotte facility and engaging newspapers of all sizes in our region to produce print products of the highest quality,” said Hoffend. “We are committed to helping the newspaper industry thrive in the Carolinas.”
Robbins will serve as president of the Charlotte Publishing Company and continue to serve as publisher of North State Journal. He holds a degree in chemical engineering from NC State and previously worked as a manufacturing engineer in the textiles industry. He also holds a law degree and MBA from Wake Forest University.
“We look forward to working with McClatchy and the employees at the Charlotte facility on a transition plan over the next few months that will keep jobs in Mecklenburg County and maintain the Queen City’s position as a hub for important print publications on the East Coast,” said Robbins. “North State Journal has strong readership in the Charlotte metro area, and we hope our increased presence will improve our ability to cover important stories there.”