Local investors purchase DFM titles in New England

Birdland Acquisition LLC purchased the New England Newspapers Inc. from Digital First Media. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The sale is expected to close May 2.

The sale includes three dailies and one weekly, The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, The Brattleboro (Vermont) Reformer and the Bennington (Vermont) Banner and the Manchester (Vermont) Journal

Local ownership group, Birdland Acquisition LLC is comprised of John C. “Hans” Morris, former president of Visa Inc., Fredric D. Rutberg, former Pittsfield district court judge, Robert G. Willmers, chairman and CEO of M&T Bank and Standford Lipsey, publisher emeritus of The Buffalo News.

“The Birdland owners see their purchase as a step toward rerouting the national trend toward consolidation of smaller newspapers into large media organizations, which allow for more local news coverage,”  The news comes just a day after Digital First Media announced it would sell The Salt Lake Tribune to local philanthropist and businessman Paul Huntsman, son of Jon Huntsman, Sr.

Drupa reveal for ‘ultra fast’ Scodix B1 enhancement press

Scodix has launched a B1-format multi-function digital enhancement press for short to medium-length runs that it said were previously not viable for printers in the packaging sector.


The Israeli manufacturer said the E106 had “ultra-fast” production speeds of up to 4,000sph to help folding-carton printers and converters differentiate their offerings and boost profit margins, according to Scodix.

“We expect the Scodix E106 to be highly disruptive in the packaging sector,” said chief executive Roy Porat, who has taken eight press orders and will give the press its first public showing at Drupa.

“Print embellishments provide an opportunity for converters to add value to products, when there’s often little scope to do this elsewhere in the converting process.

“As average run lengths decrease, Scodix digital enhancement presses – with no tooling costs and next to no set-up – become an attractive option to replace analogue equipment.

“Converters will be able to offer shorter run lengths profitably and new products. They will be able to enter new markets and clinch a competitive edge in tough market conditions.”

Marketing director Lynn Kolevsohn said the E106 will start beta testing after the show and commercial deliveries will start in 2017.

“The folding carton market is moving toward mass customisation, shorter print runs and a need for better and new embellishments.

“Current technologies cannot answer those needs. They suffer from long set-up times, high cost of die and moulds and very little flexibility.

“The Scodix E106 answers those trends, with a system that allows embellishments that are not available today, with efficiency and cost saving for any run up to 10,000 B1 sheets.”

She said that owing to the machine’s many potential configurations, there ws no single ‘official’ price. UK customers will be able to buy the press on its release from UK distributor Conversion.

Features include Scodix Sense, Scodix Spot, Scodix Braille, Scodix Digital Embossing, Scodix Variable Data finishes and Scodix Foil all in a single device.

The foil system was developed by Compact Foilers, meanwhile Scodix partnered with Mabeg Systems to produce the Scodix E106 paper handling system.

The E106 can handle substrates from paperboard to plastic and metalised boards, as well as offset and digital prints and water-based coatings and a wide range of laminated products.

On Drupa, Kolevsohn said: “It is quite amazing this is only the second Drupa for Scodix; 2012 was our first and we started the show with one platform and 12 installations worldwide.

“We enter this Drupa with over 200 installations across the world, three platforms and a new market to serve, the folding-carton market.”

She added: “The new Scodix E106 extends the capabilities of our Scodix Ultra Series and Scodix S Series in a B1 format – typically used by the folding carton market and therefore integrating seamlessly into existing production lines.

“Now brand owners can create new products using foil over foil, adding Scodix Sense effects over foil, or personalising with Scodix Variable Data Sense or Scodix Variable Data Foil.

“These effect were previously unachievable in this market. The Scodix E106 delivers the perfect mix of size, speed, and striking quality, while saving cost.”