BRAINERD, Minn. -

Wausau Paper plans to end production of print paper at its Brainerd mill, laying off 55 employees.

A Wausau spokesman says the move is part of the Mosinee, Wis.-based company's strategy to convert the Minnesota mill and leave the printing business behind.

Forty-eight hourly and seven salaried employees in Brainerd will be laid off.

The mill currently employs 137 hourly staff and 34 salary workers.

The Brainerd Dispatch reports the majority of hourly staff layoffs is expected by Dec. 31, with some salaried positions staying on until July.

In 2011, the Brainerd mill completed a $27 million capital investment that rebuilt the No. 7 paper machine to make technical and specialty grades.

Wausau started paper production at the Brainerd mill in 2004.