A.H. Belo acquiring 3 Dallas marketing firms

A. H. Belo Corporation, owner of The Dallas Morning News, on Monday will announce a $15.3 million investment for a majority ownership stake in three Dallas-based marketing companies as it continues to diversify.

The three companies — Distribion, MarketingFX and Vertical Nerve — are run by local entrepreneur Tim Storer, and they will become part of A.H. Belo’s newly formed DMV Digital Holdings Co.

“The addition of these three new companies to our portfolio represents an opportunity for our advertising clients to take advantage of data-driven marketing automation technology and services,” said Jim Moroney, publisher and chief executive officer of The News.

The latest deal allows A.H. Belo to expand its marketing services to mid-size and larger local and regional customers, said Grant Moise, senior vice president of business development and niche products for The News. “This acquisition helps us continue to become a well-rounded marketing and media company,” he said.

Storer will retain a minority stake in the three companies. Existing CEO Storer and the 40 employees will continue to operate the companies from their current location in Dallas.

For Storer, the acquisition means his companies will gain additional resources, including a larger sales force, a bigger audience and more content capabilities, to grow faster.

“I’m very excited about the direction of those businesses,” Storer said. “Obviously, combining resources of A.H. Belo with these businesses is very exciting. … Really, this provides us with a much larger sales force.”

The three companies share five salespeople but now will have access to The News’ 75 salespeople. In addition, Storer said he plans to hire 15 to 20 people, including about a dozen salespeople, in the next 12 to 18 months.

The three companies combined are expected to generate between $9 million and $11 million in revenue and between $800,000 and $1.3 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for 2015, Moise said.

The acquisition is the latest in A.H. Belo’s strategy to diversify revenue sources and whittle down its newspaper holdings as print advertising revenue continues to decline. The Dallas-based company’s print advertising revenue declined nearly 10 percent in the first nine months of 2014 from a year earlier.

“The traditional print advertising business is still under pressure,” Moroney said in an April conference call with analysts and investors. “It’s imperative that companies like ours find ways to diversify their sources of revenue.”

The most recent acquisition fits his goal of acquiring local companies with a proven track record and a good management team. Moroney has said the company is interested in investing in or buying at least a majority stake in companies involved in direct marketing, outdoor marketing, businesses targeting the growing Latino market, Web and app development, and video production.

A.H. Belo or The News has acquired other marketing businesses. In 2012, The News acquired Pegasus News, launched an event-marketing venture called CrowdSource, created 508 Digital to offer digital marketing to small- and mid-size businesses in Dallas-Fort Worth, and started Speakeasy, a social media marketing joint venture.

North American Publishing Company Changes Name to NAPCO Media

U.S.-based North American Publishing Company has announced it is now doing business as NAPCO Media.
The new name better represents its evolving portfolio of services while maintaining the brand equity from the company’s inception in 1958.According to NAPCO Media Chairman Ned Borowsky, “the term ‘publishing’ no longer defines who we are as a company. We specialize in the creation and cross-channel distribution of exceptional content, and the word ‘media’ better reflects our objective to deliver content across all platforms and mediums—including print, digital, video and events. NAPCO Media retains the best of our past and combines it with the vision of our future.”In the past two years NAPCO Media has rapidly expanded its portfolio, creating a Video Services Group, launching an Events Group and increasing its Marketing Services offerings.“I think we’ve done a good job of listening to our customers and creating solutions that solve their problems,” said NAPCO Media President Dave Leskusky. “Our goal is to continue to add to our portfolio. We firmly believe that our customers and subscribers will determine what those next products and services will be.”
NAPCO Media has unveiled a new logo and launched a new corporate website, www.napco.com, to correspond with the name change

Veldonn Printers brings square-back book production in-house with Horizon buy

Commercial design and printing specialist Veldonn Printers has added square-back books to its portfolio of services after investing in a Horizon SPF-200L with two Vac 1000 Collators and Spine Master square-back option. The SPF/FC-200L will enable Veldonn to produce landscape books

The device, which was installed at the Kidderminster-based firm’s premises in the run-up to Christmas, was bought from Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS).

It has replaced an ageing Horizon bookletmaking system to boost production capacity, improve quality and bring square-back production in-house.

“The investment will speed up productivity and also bring new business as a result of us now being able to offer square-back books,” said director Dale Horton.

“This is something that will be very popular with our clients. The SPF-200L can also produce landscape A4 booklets ensuring we are future-proofed.”

The business looked at a range of alternatives but found the 4,500bph Horizon device to be the best fit for its requirements as it can handle both litho and digital print.

“We looked at all options on the market but as the Horizon system we replaced had offered great reliability and build quality, that made the decision to invest in the tried and tested high-quality build of the Horizon,” said Horton.

The highly automated SPF-200L has the ability to feed A4 landscape sheets. The JDF-ready system offers instant set-ups via a large icon-based colour touchscreen which can be used for on-the-run fine tune adjustments as well as the store and recall of up to 200 jobs.

“The new system offers job memory storage so the ability to archive many jobs will speed up makeready times. We can interrupt a long-run job, quickly turn around a short-run job and, within minutes, be back running -the long-run job,” said Horton.

“We liked the build quality and automation the Horizon offers ensuring it can be made ready for a new job in seconds from the touchscreen.”

Veldonn Printers produces a wide range of print using Heidelberg machinery. It also offers a full range of in-house finishing including die-cutting, multi-page folding, binding, gathering, collating, stitching and trimming.

Allied Printing Services Purchases Two Komori System 38S Presses

Allied Printing Services, a third generation family-owned and operated commercial and financial printer, has announced its latest equipment purchase, adding two Komori System 38S web presses. The 65-year-old printing company has chosen Komori for their ability to deliver unmatched automation, versatility, quality and waste reduction.”Komori was really the ‘dark horse’ at the outset of our broad search for new webs, because we did not have a pre-existing relationship with the press manufacturer,” said John Sommers, president and CEO of Allied Printing Services. “As we took a deeper dive, Komori’s superior technology really impressed us. The System 38S offers automation and quality control that is unmatched in the web offset market. These two new presses will give us a significant boost in production in our web pressroom and complement our already extensive sheetfed press capacity.”Earlier in 2014 Allied added two new high-speed KBA sheetfed presses. The new web presses are expected to be in operation by the Fall of 2015.With versatility being a deciding factor in selecting the presses, Allied Printing Services anticipates the automatic plate changing capabilities, closed-loop color control, and semi-automatic flying paster for the Komori System 38S offers will reduce Allied’s makeready time by more than 50 percent, which will improve productivity and drive down costs for its diverse customer base. Additionally, Komori’s KHS-AI interface system supports Allied’s goal to significantly reduce paper waste and promote more efficient plant operations while maintaining top-of-the-line quality.

“Allied Printing Services takes their partnerships very seriously, and we are thrilled to have them join the Komori family,” noted Jacki Hudmon, senior vice president of sales for Komori America. “The System 38S delivers a wealth of advanced technologies that ensure the performance, quality and reliability required for a company with diverse customer requirements like Allied Printing Services.”

Goss Works with Innotech to give The New York Times New Capabilities

Goss International has completed a press enhancement project with Innotech involving the installation of full-color panorama gatefold capabilities forThe New York Times. The new formats allow the publisher to offer advertisers innovative placement opportunities to create maximum impact.Completed to a tight schedule of around 20 weeks from initial order to the first test run, the project involved retrofitting each of two existing Goss Colorliner press lines with a custom-configured Innotech Panorama Gatefold System.According to Dan Picco, regional sales manager at Goss, the project called on the full and combined expertise of all parties involved. “Obviously, for a publisher operating on the scale ofThe New York Times, there is no time to lose and there can be no disruption to ongoing daily production,” said Picco. “We had to establish failsafe processes from the outset and make sure we achieved the highest level of teamwork. The fact that The New York Times is already enjoying the benefit of the new capabilities testifies to our joint success.”

The gatefold system now running at The New York Times enables the Goss Colorliner presses to produce an additional four-page wide centerfold or a separate eight-page pull-out section, up to a maximum format of 48×22″ (1219×559 mm). In addition, it is possible to make smaller gatefolds or coupon folds at one or both edges for special promotions providing new display areas for advertisers. It is also possible to make gatefolds in the cover page or have the gate folded section as a wrap around the main section.
The new capabilities have already been used to maximum effect by select advertisers in The Times.

Vinod Kapoor, president at Innotech concluded, “Goss and Innotech engineered a solution that gave The New York Times ultimate flexibility with regard to the positioning of specialized sections within the newspaper, without the need to purchase a new press.”