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The pandemic hasn't just shut down newsrooms, but dozens of storied printing presses as well — and the closures impact hundreds of jobs across the country.

Driving the news: The Philadelphia Inquirer said Monday that it would be selling its printing plant, putting as many as 500 out of work.

Other presses that have shut down or sold this year:

  • News Corp. last month said it was closing the company’s Bronx Print Plant, where the The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and the New York Post were printed for decades.
  • The Virginian Pilot shut down its local press in July and moved its operations to Richmond, eliminating 132 jobs.
  • The Desert Sun in Palm Springs moved its printing operations to Phoenix, laying off 3 dozen employees at its local printing facility.

The big picture: Real estate is often the most expensive asset that media companies own and printing presses employ a lot of people.

  • In 2019 there were 21% fewer printing press operators and 32% fewer pre-press technicians and workers than in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Yes, but: Presses can sometimes be difficult to offload, given that the environmental impacts of the ink and chemicals is typically unknown until the building is ripped up and inspected.

Go deeper: Newsrooms abandoned as pandemic drags on

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
43 mins ago - Sports

MLB falls out favor with Republicans

Expand chart
Data: Morning Consult; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

MLB is the latest sports league to fall out of favor with Republicans following its decision to pull the All-Star Game out of Atlanta.

By the numbers: In mid-March, MLB's net favorability rating among Republicans was 47%, the highest of the four major U.S. sports leagues. Since then, it has plummeted to 12%, dropping the league below the NFL and NHL, according to new data from Morning Consult.

58 mins ago - World

Blinken makes unannounced trip to Afghanistan to sell troop withdrawal

Photo: CARLOS BARRIA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan on Thursday to meet with the nation's president, Ashraf Ghani, and Abdullah Abdullah, who is representing the Taliban in negotiations, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Blinken sought to reassure the pair that the U.S. will maintain support for the country, despite President Biden's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan starting May 1 and concluding in full by Sept. 11.

Women rise to the top at major media companies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Several women have been tapped to lead some of the country's largest newsrooms over the past year — a promising sign of progress for an industry that's typically been slow to accept change and embrace diversity.

Driving the news: CBS News executive Kimberly Godwin was named president of ABC News on Wednesday. Godwin will be the first Black woman to lead a major broadcast news division when she takes the helm in May.