New Owner for Gulf Coast Newspapers

Gulf Coast Newspapers, LLC, a publishing firm operating in Baldwin County, has been acquired by a family owned newspaper company in South Carolina.

OPC News, LLC, purchased the media properties from Crescent Publishing Company, LLC, also based in South Carolina. The sale closed July 29.

OPC News is owned by three members of the Osteen family, Graham, Kyle and Jack Osteen. The brothers also have holdings in Osteen Publishing Company, Inc., a Sumter newspaper operation that has been in their family for more than a century.

In a statement, the brothers said their comfort with small newspapers and the location of these particular properties made the purchase attractive.

“Baldwin County is a great area with an audience that traditionally loves to read newspapers. Along with the staff, we will continue to build on the impressive efforts at Gulf Coast Newspapers. We believe in the future of smaller community news organizations.”

Bern Mebane, President of Crescent Publishing who has owned GCN for the past 14 years said “We are delighted that our friends in the Osteen family will continue to build on the work of serving the communities of Baldwin County, and the people from around the country who depend on our website for news and events related to the vibrant coastal tourist market. They have been in the business for generations and have adapted to the changing needs of communities in several states.”

Gulf Coast Newspapers consists of newspapers in several Baldwin County communities, tourism related publications, a website dedicated to the Alabama Gulf Coast and a strong Facebook and Twitter presence. The newspapers are published under five different names: The Courier, The Independent, The Baldwin Times, The Foley Onlooker and The Islander. Also included are a website,, and several specialty publications and magazines.

Sudie Gambrell, the current publisher of Gulf Coast Newspapers, will continue in that role.  Gambrell will report to Larry Miller, chief executive officer of OPC News and Osteen Publishing Company. Miller, based in South Carolina, oversees all of the Osteen properties, which includes newspapers in Florida, New Mexico, and South Carolina.

Journal Communications to merge broadcasting with Scripps, spin off newspapers

E.W. Scripps Co. and Journal Communications Inc., parent of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, announced plans to merge their broadcast divisions and spin their newspapers off into a separate company.

The deal — expected to close in 2015 — calls for the the Journal Sentinel to serve as the flagship of a new public company, Journal Media Group, which will be headquartered in Milwaukee, the paper reported.

Journal Communications’ broadcast assets will be folded into Scripps and the newly merged broadcast company will be based in Cincinnati.

“Everyone wins,” said Steven J. Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Journal Communications, who will serve as nonexecutive chairman of Journal Media.

The deal is the latest in a growing trend among media companies to separate broadcast and newspaper interests. Among them, Tribune Co., which will officially spin off its newspaper division, Tribune Publishing, on Monday. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. separated its broadcast and newspaper interests in June 2013.

In addition to the Journal Sentinel, Journal Media will include all of Scripps’ newspapers, including The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., community publications and digital offerings. The company will operate daily newspapers in 14 markets.

The new company will have around 3,600 employees with expected annual revenue of some $500 million.

Journal Media’s clean financial slate will include a balance sheet with $10 million in cash and no debt, the Journal Sentinel said, while Scripps will keep substantially all of the qualified pension obligations.

Timothy E. Stautberg, who currently oversees Scripps’ newspapers, will become CEO of Journal Media. Richard Boehne will remain as board chairman, president and CEO of Scripps.

The merged broadcast and digital company will have 4,000 employees and anticipates annual revenue of more than $800 million, according to the Journal Sentinel.


Heidelberg Boosts Speed of VLF Speedmaster XL Presses for High-Volume Packaging

Heidelberg has increased the maximum running speed of its 57” Speedmaster VLF XL 145 and 64” Speedmaster VLF XL 162 presses by up to 20 percent. Targeting the folding carton market, this next level of efficiency is enabled by the new “Packaging Speed Performance” (PSP) packages. Heidelberg’s Speedmaster XL 145/162 PSP printing presses are now available with increased maximum speed and top productivity up to 18,000 sph for the Speedmaster XL 145 and 16,500 sph for the Speedmaster XL 162. These speeds lead the industry and confirm that the newest press platform available is also the fastest.

Perfect for High-Volume Producers
Heidelberg’s new PSP speed class presses are designed for converters requiring maximum throughput and minimal waste. Key applications include conventional long runs in VLF packaging, e.g., pizza and cereal boxes, frozen foods, confectionery, pet food, and electronics. Superior Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE), a measure of makeready time, makeready waste, average net production speed and level of utilization, is critical to the success of this business model. By optimizing all of the components of OEE, the Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 145 PSP drives performance to new heights. Calculations confirm that a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 145 VLF with PSP package, working three shifts per day, six days per week, produces twice as many sheets as a 2007 packaging press running at a maximum rated speed of 15,000 sph. The Speedmaster XL 145 with Packaging Speed Performance can produce 70 million or more sheets per year.

Many innovations enable the Speedmaster XL 145/162 to achieve top speeds consistently. These include an updated feeder, improved sheet guidance and a 32-foot delivery optimized with Heidelberg’s patented high-performance dryers. Not only do the Speedmaster XL 145 PSP and XL 162 PSP feature the longest drying sections on the market, but also unique-to-Heidelberg, round air nozzle technology that ensures efficient drying for the coating. The dryers are also equipped with seven slide-in units to ensure smooth production and complete drying at maximum speed.

When print quality is a priority, the high-performance inking and dampening system of the Speedmaster XL 145/XL 162 sets standards in color consistency throughout the run, i.e., the form rollers are smoothly transitioned onto the plate (no bending required), rather than hitting the front bend of the plate, often leading to stripes. Especially at higher machine speeds, Heidelberg’s Prinect Inpress Control spectrophotometric inline measuring and control system provides a major assist for operators by adjusting color and register on the fly.

The Evidence Is In
One year ago, key innovations on Heidelberg’s Speedmaster XL 145/162 VLF press series platform were recognized with the 2013 InterTech Technology Award from Printing Industries of America—the first press ever in the 57”/64” class to be so honored. Heidelberg became the U.S. market leader in VLF packaging presses for the first time in 2014, and has sold multiple Speedmaster VLF XL 145/162 models with the new PSP option to demanding customers in three U.S. locations to date this year.

Since the start of series production in 2009, more than 100 VLF Speedmaster XL 145/162 presses have been sold worldwide. Some 70 percent of these are used in package printing. Exacting customers in North America and abroad also have placed multiple repeat orders for Heidelberg’s VLF XL presses after seeing their initial investment exceed expectations in terms of availability, capacity and print quality. Currently, Heidelberg is recording the highest volume of orders since the start of production.

After 120 Years, Arizona State University’s Press Stops Printing Newspaper, Moves to Digital Platform

After more than 120 years, Arizona State University has stopped printing the print section of its newspaper, The State Press, and has moved to a completely digital platform, reported the

In the past three years, the company has made several changes to keep up with the latest media trends, such as moving from a broadsheet to tabloid design, completely redesigning its Website, and moving the print section from a daily paper to a weekly paper. The newspaper reported a significant amount of online readership that tripled the readers who read the printed version.

According to, the newspaper plans to add documentary-style reporting, short videos, photos and graphics.

“At The State Press, we want to give you endless access to information about what’s going on around you. But starting in August, you won’t get ink-smudged fingers while you’re doing it…By no means does this mean we’re disappearing from your life into an abyss of Internet cats and Buzzfeed quizzes,” the editorial board said.