See How Newspapers are Made with a Tour from Your Friends at the Library

The Friends of the Rochester Hills Public Library organization is sponsoring a tour of the Detroit News and Free Press Printing facility on Friday, May 18.

Most everyone has read a newspaper at some point in their life. Have you ever wondered what the process is to produce that newspaper? This is your chance to find out.

Photo of the printing facility building

Detroit News and Free Press Printing Facility Tour

The printing facility is a 480,000 square foot, six-story building which originally opened in 1971, with several expansions since. It was considered one of the most technologically advanced printing facilities in the world by 2005. The entire facility is an engineering marvel of high-tech wizardry, consolidation and automation. Both the Detroit Free Press (c. 1831) and Detroit News (c. 1873) have been printed here since the combination of their business operations was approved in 1989.

The facility consists of six offset press lines. Each press line is 6-stories (90 feet) high, 540 feet long and can print 75,000 full newspapers (ie: 7-sections, 80 pages, including 40 pages of color) per hour. The press line is “offset” because the paper itself never actually touches the printing plate. For higher quality, printing blankets (big rubber cylinders) offset the ink and image on the paper.

The tour lasts about 90 minutes and includes lots of walking and stairs, so bring some comfortable walking shoes. The facility is not ADA Accessible for tour participants. Photography is allowed. Space is limited to 25 people per tour so the Friends have arranged two tours on the same day. Once 50 reservations are reached, names will first go on a waiting list for cancellations. But if interest merits and the waiting list grows sufficiently, an additional tour will be added. Prompt sign-ups are encouraged.

Tour participants will meet at the facility, and parking is limited so carpooling is recommended. The News and Free Press Facility is located at 6200 Metropolitan Parkway (at the corner of Mound Rd.) Sterling Heights, Michigan.

  • Date: Friday, May 18
  • Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Cost: $20 per person. Proceeds will benefit Library programs.

To reserve your place online via PayPal, go to and scroll down to the “special event” tab, and click on the PayPal link. Sign-up forms are also available at the Library information desk (500 Olde Towne Road in downtown Rochester). Payment can be made by check accompanying that form.

Please reserve by Tuesday, May 8. Tickets will not be issued; admittance will be from a list of paid reservations at the door.

About Rochester Media

Rochester Media publishes The Community Edge digital newsletter of recently posted articles from Rochester Media, a hyper-local news outlet covering all things in and around Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township. Send us you press releases and news happenings to

Speak Your Mind