Anschutz mulling Rocky Mountain News relaunch?

Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz’s Clarity Media Group is floating a Rocky Mountain News prototype online to explore the possibility of bringing the daily back to the Mile High City, according to the Denver Business Journal.

E.W. Scripps Co. published the last issue of the paper on Feb 27, 2009, just two months shy of its 150th anniversary of Rocky ownership, citing monthly losses of $1 million. Anschutz quickly purchased the rights to use the Rocky’s name, Internet address and other intellectual property.

Clarity will conduct market research based on the prototype to assess the feasibility of reviving the Rocky. Potential readers can view and comment on the online prototype here.

DBJ pointed to industry speculation that Anschutz may be using the move as a negotiating tactic to purchase The Denver Post.

Meantime, Anschutz President and CEO Ryan McKibben said no decision has been made to bring the Rocky back, and he would not estimate how long market research would go on.


Ricoh Joins Sustainable Green Printing Partnership as Platinum Patron

The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership is pleased to announce that Ricoh Americas has become the most recent SGP Patron at the platinum level. As industry leaders dedicated to promoting sustainability, SGP Patrons help support the organization and keep costs low for applicants.Ricoh is a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in about 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2014, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,236 billion yen (approx. 21.7 billion USD).

The majority of the company’s revenue comes from products, solutions and services that improve the interaction between people and information. Ricoh also produces award-winning digital cameras and specialized industrial products. It is known for the quality of its technology, the exceptional standard of its customer service and sustainability initiatives.

“Our partnership with SGP demonstrates a commitment to our customers to meet the needs of their customers’ sustainable business practices, which in the end benefits people, profits and the planet,” states Ed Wong,  director, product marketing, Ricoh Americas. “Ricoh recognizes and believes that environmental management is one of our highest corporate priorities and we strive to conduct our business as responsible stewards of the environment. And we are committed to partnering with like-minded organizations who are truly committed to the long-term health of our planet; SGP is an exemplary example.”

Ricoh is an active participant in numerous industry organizations and associations that help in establishing standards that are beneficial for the imaging equipment industry for its customers to help achieve green procurement from a holistic approach. The company works closely with its business partners to evaluate and improve products and services and provide customers with greener imaging equipment.

Appleton Coated Launches New Fiscal Opaque for Financial Printing, High-Speed Inkjet Web Markets

Appleton Coated has introduced a new uncoated product line, Appleton Coated Fiscal Opaque. It represents a significant new development in the company’s continued expansion into new markets. Designed and manufactured specifically for the financial printing and commercial printing segments, it is offered in both offset and web inkjet rolls.The web inkjet offering includes products for dye-based and pigment-based web inkjet platforms, as well as with ColorPRO technology for the HP T-series platforms.

“This new product line expands our portfolio of highly-engineered, lighter basis weight, high opacity printing papers,” said John Mazuroski, Appleton Coated’s business development manager for technical and specialty products. “We have the technical and manufacturing expertise to design and develop challenging new products that answer customer demand. Our Fiscal Opaque products deliver excellent on-press performance, high opacity and superior brightness.”

Mazuroski continued, “Building on our introduction of Pharma Insert Opaque, customers are requesting end-use-specific thin and opaque papers. Our manufacturing architecture is purpose-built for papers like these.”

Appleton Coated Fiscal Opaque is available in 26-, 27-, 30-, 35- and 40-pound basis weights in rolls only for offset and web inkjet. It may be ordered with post-consumer recovered fiber (PCRF), as FSC certified (FSC C007796); SFI certified; PEFC certified and with Green-e certified Green Power. For all grades that carry the Green Power designation, 100 percent of the electricity used to manufacture these products is matched with renewable energy credits (RECs) from Green-e certified energy sources, primarily wind.


Domtar to Convert Uncoated Freesheet Paper Machine in Arkansas Mill to Make Fluff Pulp

Domtar Corp. has announced that its board of directors has approved a $160 million capital project to convert a paper machine at the Ashdown, AR, mill to a high-quality fluff pulp line used in absorbent applications such as baby diapers, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products. The planned conversion is expected to come online by the third quarter 2016 and will allow for the production of up to 516,000 metric tons of fluff pulp per year once the machine is in full operation. The project will also result in the permanent reduction of 364,000 short tons of annual uncoated freesheet production capacity in the second quarter of 2016.

“The fluff pulp conversion project at the Ashdown mill is an important step in advancing our strategy to generate $300 to 500 million of EBITDA from growth businesses,” said John D. Williams, CEO. “We are expanding our presence in a growing business that will allow us to support our top‐tier supplier position with some of the world’s largest producers of absorbent hygiene products. Once completed, Ashdown, together with our Plymouth mill will provide a platform to further strengthen our leading position as an effective producer of high quality fluff pulp with nearly one million tonnes of total production capacity.”

Commenting on the reduction of papermaking capacity, Williams added, “The conversion of the paper machine in 2016 will further help balance our supply with our customers’ demand. In the interim, the flexibility of the two remaining paper machines at the Ashdown mill allows us to take measured steps to adjust our paper production while selling papergrade pulp.”

The conversion work is expected to commence during the second quarter of 2016 and the fluff pulp line is scheduled to start‐up by the third quarter 2016. The cost of conversion will be approximately $160 million of which $40 million is expected to be invested in 2015 and $120 million in 2016. The Company will also invest in a pulp bale line that will provide flexibility to manufacture papergrade softwood pulp, contingent on market conditions.

The aggregate pre-tax earnings charge in connection with this conversion is estimated to be $117 million which includes an estimated $114 million in non-cash charges relating to accelerated depreciation of the carrying amounts of the manufacturing equipment as well as the write-off of related spare parts. Of the estimated pre-tax charge of $117 million, $3 million relates to estimated cash severance, employee benefits and training. Of the estimated total pre-tax charge of $117 million, $9 million is expected to be recognized in the fourth quarter of 2014 and $108 million is expected to be incurred during 2015 and 2016.

As a result of the fourth quarter decision to convert the nature and use of line A64 of the Ashdown Pulp and Paper mill, the carrying amount of the assets of the Ashdown mill is being tested for impairment and may result in a write-down during the fourth quarter of 2014. The carrying amount of such assets was approximately $813 million at November 30, 2014.