Tampa Bay Times Sells Headquarters, Will Remain as Building Tenant

The Times Publishing Company, which produces the largest newspaper in the southeast United States – the Tampa Bay Times – has sold its downtown St. Petersburg headquarters to 490 First Avenue Owner LLC, a joint venture of Convergent Capital Partners and Denholtz Associates.

The sale price was $19 million. With a 15-year lease, the Times will remain a tenant and occupy nearly half the building, which will still bear the newspaper’s name.

“With this sale, we are able to continue contributing to the vitality of downtown St. Petersburg. We are very pleased that the Times will remain a tenant and maintain its significant presence in the area,” said Times CFO Jana Jones.

The Times’ Tampa office on Ashley Street is located in a building owned by Denholtz Associates that also bears the newspaper’s name.

“Denholtz Associates and our partner, Convergent Capital Partners, are excited to have played a part in this milestone for the Tampa Bay Times,” said Steven Denholtz, CEO of Denholtz Associates. “Our relationship with the Times and with the Tampa Bay community spans two decades and is part of what made this deal possible. We look forward to the modernization of the Times headquarters building and to continuing to build a strong relationship with the entire community.”

“Convergent is excited to make another significant investment in downtown St. Pete.  The construction and redevelopment activity is continuing to strengthen the city’s position as a place to live, work, and play,” said Santosh Govindaraju, CEO of Convergent Capital Partners.  “The Tampa Bay Times and the high quality team at this award-winning newspaper are a very important part of our Tampa Bay community, and we look forward to being a part of their growth in the years ahead.”

Intelligencer of Lancaster, Pa., to Double Sheetfed Print Capacity With New Manroland HiPrint 700 Press

new-R700-HiPrint-Intel

Intelligencer, part of Steinman Communications, is a commercial printing company that produces heatset web, sheetfed and digital printing, as well as complete finishing, mailing, marketing, and fulfillment services. The firm recently installed a new Manroland HiPrint 700 sheetfed offset press at its facility based here.

Commenting on the new installation, Robert Mason, president and CEO of Intelligencer, says, “Intelligencer makes technological investments which best suit the needs of our clients, they are the lifeblood of our business and equipping our valued staff with the tools to deliver results beyond the client’s expectations is more than a goal, it’s a necessity. With the speed of this press, it will more than double our current sheetfed print capacity at unprecedented quality levels. We look forward to serving existing clients faster and working with new customers in 2016.”

The new Manroland HiPrint 700 press with simultaneous plate loading (SPL), perfecting capability, and InlineColorPilot Plus system maintains color quality controls to Process Standards ISO 12647-2, a very demanding and highly selective color standard. It will hang eight plates in four minutes, come up to color in 156 sheets and run at 16,000 sheets an hour.

“Intelligencer will experience an upsurge in production efficiency like never before,” states Michael Mugavero, managing director and CEO of Manroland Sheetfed U.S. & Canada. “This press, the first SPL HiPrint press in North America, is equipped with the latest makeready and quality control features which are unmatched in capability and speed.” Intelligencer opted to include features such as InlineRegister, ok-Balance process analysis software, a full scope of QuickChange features, Manroland Sheetfed’s exclusive TripleFlow Ink distribution system, and the coveted grail of color quality control, the InlineColorPilot Plus system.

Intelligencer’s VP of operations, Joseph Schott explains further, “When you get right down to it, printing is like any manufacturing process — efficiency comes when you operate quickly, reduce waste, transition from one job to another easily and move fast. That’s what we get with this new press. Our clients will enjoy faster turn-around times, less waiting between press approvals and better color control.”

At drupa 2016, Air Motion Systems Will Introduce Three New LED UV Modules

Air Motion Systems (AMS), a provider of high-power LED UV curing systems for the print media industry, has announced new products to be highlighted at drupa 2016, being held May 31-June 10, in Düsseldorf, Germany.

MultiWave LED-UV Blended Wavelength Modules
At drupa 2016, AMS will commercialize a blended wavelength series LED module called MultiWave LED-UV featuring the industry’s first uniform blend of Wide Spectrum UV and LED wavelengths at equivalent power levels, and with a performance range designed for compatibility with many existing UV photo initiator packages, including low-migration formulas. The development means that the ink prices for LED curing can now be similar to those of existing high quality UV inks.

“MultiWave LED-UV is a true industry first,” says Steve Metcalf, CEO of AMS. “With MultiWave, AMS offers a single, 100% LED-based solution capable of curing a much broader range of UV and LED inks, varnishes and coatings at the highest performance levels, without reliance on mercury based arc lamps or proprietary, dual-purpose power supplies to assist. Further, MultiWave LED modules are engineered to be plug-compatible with all AMS LED UV systems in use, providing an easy upgrade path for our existing customers.”

Based on AMS’ award-winning and patented PEAK Optics Dynamic Collimation technology, MultiWave LED modules give printers and converters wider spectrum compatibility with UV inks, varnishes and coatings combined with all the advantages of 100% LED-based curing, including low energy consumption, elimination of mercury and ozone, removal of heat, improved curing consistency, safer operation and elimination of frequent bulb changes. “Drupa 2016 will be all about preparing yourself for the wide spectrum future of LED,” adds Carsten Barlebo, managing director of AMS EMEA. “And with the latest from AMS, we and our customers are ready.”

MultiWave LED modules are based on the latest high-efficiency (HE), upgradeable diode chipsets from AMS and will be offered in power densities of 12W, 17W and 25W classes, consistent with existing power setups offered by AMS, and capable of reaching the highest production speeds in perfecting and straight mode of machines on the market today. MultiWave modules are available in seamless format widths from narrow up to 2.5 meters (100 inches) for all AMS systems spanning offset, flexo and digital.

LED UV Solution for Low-Pile Sheetfed Presses
At drupa, AMS will further introduce a new low-profile LED module, called the XD Series, for easy conversion of space-restricted machines to LED printing. The development of XD is a result of working closely with partners and customers who requested a smaller-profile design with easy setup for the numerous low-pile sheetfed offset litho presses in use around the world, and for which adequate space in the delivery is not readily available for standard LED drying units.

“XD is a LED printing solution for the many printers who operate 520mm (20-inch) format machines with low pile designs from different manufacturers,” relays Carsten Barlebo. “The XD systems come complete with a turnkey start-up package, and are designed for quick installation that can be done oftentimes by the printer themselves, without the expense of onsite technicians.”

The XD solution will allow small format presses to more easily take advantage of the growing worldwide trend towards eco-friendly, “offset-on-demand” LED printing, including instant drying and the ability to readily print on many papers and synthetic materials.

XD systems are built around a common, proven LED architecture from AMS that features replaceable, upgradeable chip diodes and operates at the highest level of performance and reliability. Power and control systems are designed for flawless operation even in the most difficult environments, and systems come prepared with internet-based remote diagnostics.

High Power Air-Cooled LED UV Modules
At drupa, AMS will further unveil an all-new, extendable, high-power Air-Cooled LED UV architecture designed for machines and applications where air-cooling can be realized into the space of the machine. The modules, known as the X-AIR Series, will offer a central connection to a blower manifold instead of relying on a series of onboard fans, which take up space and can lead to maintenance issues. The vastly improved cooling efficiency in a rugged, extruded housing also enables much wider, and seamlessly extendable format sizes for Air-Cooled LED applications than previously possible.

“Existing air-cooled LED UV designs on the market are beset with challenges for machine integration,” notes Metcalf. “When fan-based modules are positioned end-to-end to create larger curing widths, energy drops off at the seams causing drying inconsistencies, such as striping and noticeable gloss-level changes. This doesn’t work for most applications, where total curing uniformity is a must. The AMS X-AIR systems offer seamless output up to lengths of 2 meters (80 inches) without loss of energy across the media. Another advantage is that we can economically deploy a centralized blower to a multi-lamp setup, similar to traditional air-cooled UV architectures.”

The X-AIR modules will come standard with AMS upgradeable and replaceable high power chip diodes, deliver outstanding working distance, and can be ordered in any format width for uniform output, eliminating the need to position multiple, small LED units end-to-end. With X-AIR, the power and control architecture is also greatly simplified, as each module requires a single dedicated driver to operate.

LED UV Satisfaction Guarantee
Based on its track record and focus on LED UV instead of hybrid systems, AMS is the first major LED UV provider to extend a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee on the LED printing process across all standard applications. In short, AMS guarantees the LED curing system, the LED curing process and top performance of the LED machine, or money is returned to the investor. The guarantee is a direct result of helping so many customers around the world achieve success with LED UV.

Eagle Systems cracks cold foiling on uncoated stocks

Eagle Systems is claiming to be the first company to conquer cold foiling on uncoated stocks and has promised to reveal how at Drupa. The sheetfed cold foiling system builds on the New Jersey, US-based company’s existing sheetfed cold foiling system, launched nearly a decade ago, which can be fitted to most litho presses, but will have different mechanics, according to president and design engineer Mike King.

He is revealing few details of the technique before the launch at the Dusseldorf show, which opens on 31 May. It has been more than six years in development. He said: “This has never been done before. Due to characteristics of uncoated stocks, being porous and the variables in the surface from coated stocks, the process never covered 100%. “It is a game changer for the cold foiling and printing world.”

King said the foiling unit will only work with consumables bought from Eagle Systems and on white and black uncoated stocks. There is only one press set up to do this in the world, at Rhode Island commercial printer The Matlet Group, King said, adding: “We can currently run any jobs folks wish to run.”

He said the system would be of interest to a wide range of printers, including those of greetings cards, food packaging, pocket folders, wine labels, beer and soft drink carriers.  “We’re expecting an extreme response at Drupa. This has been tried and tested by many folks with no success; Eagle spends a lot of money on R&D and leads the foil industry. “We don’t build any other machines or processes except for foil, hot and cold.”

The company has been a foiling specialist since 1990 and sells its products through Kluge International in the UK and Ireland. It said its Eco Flow system can be retrofitted to almost any existing offset press without interfering with the workflow. So far it has notched up more than 400 installations worldwide.

Gannett offers $815 million to buy Tribune Publishing

Gannett Co., which owns USA TODAY and more than 100 other media properties across the country, said Monday it offered to buy Tribune Publishing (TPUB) for about $815 million, its second big expansion move since spinning off from its former parent less than a year ago.

In a letter to Justin Dearborn, CEO of Tribune, which owns the Los Angeles Times,Chicago Tribune and nine other dailies, Gannett CEO Robert Dickey reiterated Monday a private April 12 offer to pay $12.25 per share, a 63% premium to Tribune’s closing stock price last Friday. Gannett’s deal includes assuming $390 million of Tribune’s debt outstanding as of Dec. 31, 2015.

The offer price is about 5.6 times Tribune’s estimated 2016 earnings before interest, taxes and other items (EBITDA). Gannett estimates about $50 million a year in “synergies” savings. Gannett owns USA TODAY plus 107 local news organizations including the Detroit Free Press, Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, theMilwaukee Journal Sentinel and Arizona Republic.

“We believe Tribune shares the new Gannett’s unwavering commitment to journalistic excellence and delivering superior content on all platforms,” Dickey said in a statement Monday. “In this respect, the proposed combination of Gannett and Tribune would bring together two highly complementary organizations with a shared goal of providing trusted, premium content for the readers and communities we serve.”

Dickey said in an interview that since the original offer, he has had several phone calls with Tribune’s non-executive chairman, Michael Ferro, and Dearborn. But the letter says Tribune has refused to begin formal negotiations, prompting Dickey to reveal the bid publicly.

“What we’re hoping for is to sit down with Tribune’s board and work out a transaction. We’re confident that, with cooperation between the companies, we can complete due diligence in a very timely fashion and execute an agreement,” Dickey said.

Shares of Tribune closed Friday at $7.52, up 2.6%, and shot up 58% to $11.84 in early trading Monday.

“The board is now engaged, with the assistance of its advisors, in a thorough review,” Tribune Publishing said Monday in a statement. “The board is committed to acting in the best interests of shareholders and will respond to Gannett as quickly as feasible.”

In August, 2014, Tribune Publishing was spun off from its former parent, Tribune Co., which was looking to focus on broadcasting and eliminate its exposure to the declining print advertising market. Tribune Co. then renamed itself Tribune Media Co.

“Since the beginning of 2016, Tribune Publishing has been undertaking a transformation and has made significant organizational changes,” Tribune Publishing said. “With a focused strategy, unmatched collection of award-winning content and brands, and the right leadership team in place, Tribune Publishing is well-positioned to create value for shareholders.”

The bid, unanimously supported by Gannett’s board, comes less than a month after theMcLean, Va.-based company completed its $280 million acquisition of Journal Media Group, which includes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Commercial  Appeal of Memphis.

Gannett spun off from its former parent in June of last year, retaining the publishing business but not its broadcast assets. At the time of the spin-off, Dickey made it clear that his strategy amid the turbulent print advertising market involved consolidating more media properties to strengthen its position on local reporting and local marketing and advertising.

Its 108 newspapers and their affiliated digital properties now comprise the newly created USA TODAY NETWORK, a nationwide news organization that taps into the combined resources of its 3,800 journalists to report on major national as well as local issues, and that focuses heavily on investigative and watchdog reporting.

If Gannett were to complete the deal, it would expand the NETWORK in strategic markets by owning dominant newspapers in major metro areas, such as the LA Times,the Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, Chicago Tribune and the Orlando Sentinel.

Tribune “fills a number of geographical gaps for us,” Dickey said. “We think bringing their publications to the USA TODAY NETWORK strengthens the overall NETWORK.”

While it owns some of the most august brands in journalism, Tribune has undergone some turbulent changes in recent months. Beset by falling print ad sales, the Chicago-based company reported a net loss of $2.8 million in 2015, swinging from a profit of $42.3 million a year earlier.

In February, Ferro, who made his fortunes in technology and health care, paid $44.4 million to buy a 16.6% stake in Tribune to become its largest single shareholder. Soon after the acquisition, Ferro removed Tribune’s CEO, Jack Griffin, and replaced him with a longtime associate, Dearborn.

“We believe Gannett is uniquely willing and able to propel Tribune into the position of strength that will allow its beloved and historic publications and other assets to survive and thrive in this challenging environment,” Dickey wrote in his letter to Dearborn. “Given the opportunity to benefit from the significant premium and near-term liquidity, we are confident that Tribune’s stockholders will embrace our offer.”

Gannett, which was virtually debt free when it spun off from TEGNA, plans to finance the deal using its existing $500 million line of credit and tapping the debt market for additional funds required. That will leave the company’s debt-to-EBITDA ratio “at about 1 to 1.5,” Dickey said. That is “considerably below industry standards,” he said.

While he will seek savings in duplicative functions, Dickey said the goal isn’t to cut back on editorial resources. “We have tremendous respect for the employees of Tribune Publishing. Our goal is to write great journalism at every location. And you can’t do that without having proper resources. I’m committed to investigative, public service journalism. We will always be efficient at our job. I focus on areas that don’t impact journalism,” he said.