OC Register crowdsourcing delivery drivers
The Orange County (Calif.) Register is offering employees $150 Visa gift cards in exchange for delivering the paper on Sundays.
Register parent company Freedom Communications ended its distribution deal with Tribune’s Los Angles Times in October.
The Times is currently suing Freedom for breach of contract and missed payments totaling more than $3 million.
 The paper sent a companywide memo to employees suggesting people bring a companion to, “help toss papers and navigate the route.”
“Your support is greatly appreciated,” the memo read. “It will ensure missed deliveries and subscriber inquiries are covered.”
Boston Globe debuts new business sectionThe Boston Globe is adding an eight-page, stand-alone business section in December, and hiring additional staff for its production,

 The section will run Tuesday through Friday, and will be located somewhere between the Metro and Sports sections.
“We’ve got everything but a new name, which is currently, to my chagrin, Business,” said Brian McGrory, editor of The Globe. “We’re aiming to make our business coverage a signature part of The Globe, both in print and online, which shouldn’t be hard, given that we’re starting from a very strong position.”
Maine alt weekly sold to local company
Phoenix Media/Communications Group sold The Portland (Maine) Phoenix to the Portland News Club LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Phoenix Media has been looking for a buyer since shuttering sister paper The Providence (R.I.) Phoenix in October.
 It halted production of The Boston Phoenix last year.
 The Portland News Club owns free newspaper The Portland Daily Sun.
“This was really a chance to rally around a paper that is an institution of southern Maine culture,” said Curtis Robinson, one of the paper’s new owners. “I’m particularly pleased that a core group has decided to continue with us, despite what has been an uncertain world for print publishing.”
Meantime, Dan MacLeod was named as the new editor of The Phoenix. About half of the alt-weekly’s sales staff has stayed on, he said.
Former editor Nick Schroeder and some of the other former staff members migrated to Dig Portland, a new alt-weekly set to launch at the end of November.


It’s likely that “Rosewater” will be the last film to receive a locally written review in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The review of the Jon Stewart film, along with reviews of “Dumb and Dumber To” and “Beyond the Lights,” ran in the paper’s Friday Cue section.

But management decided locally written movie reviews, by myself or by freelancers, will no longer run in the paper, in anticipation, no doubt, of the merger with the E. W. Scripps chain in 2015. My last day was Friday.

The argument is that movie reviews fail to generate enough traffic on line to continue running them and that there is so much entertainment coverage online that locally produced reviews have no impact.

It is another service reduction for readers as newspapers struggle to survive. But with the demise of movie advertising in the paper, movie coverage failed to pay its way. The writing was on the wall when show time listings for Marcus Theaters and other exhibitors – which many readers believed to be a public service but were paid ads – moved on line.

When reviews don’t run “it’s not because we’re trying to save money,” according to an editorial in Pajiba, an entertainment website, entitled “The Economics of Movie Reviews, or Why So Many Critics Continue to Lose Their Jobs. “It’s because we can’t afford the loss.”

Of the 200 plus reviews Pajiba ran last year only 21 generated enough page views to pay for themselves.

Arts coverage was once considered essential and newspapers were anxious to have their own critics.

When the Milwaukee Sentinel and Milwaukee Journal merged, management sent me to the Cannes Film Festival to demonstrate its commitment. But movie criticism in print has been endangered for years.

In April even Entertainment Weekly laid off long time critic Owen Glieberman.

“No one would argue that fewer critics and the adjectives they hurl would imperil the opening of ‘Iron Man,” New York Times columnist David Carr wrote in 2007. “But for a certain kind of movie critical accolades can mean the difference between relevance and obscurity not to mention box office success or failure.”

Some reviews will surely run in the Journal Sentinel. No review of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”? Pull the other one. But, to my knowledge there will be no review of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” opening this Friday.

Hopefully you will find one here.

But blockbusters, with their massive advertising campaigns, can take care of their themselves. It is the smaller, esoteric films that play at the Landmark Theaters, or the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Union Theatre, that will suffer.  The overwhelming success of the Milwaukee Film Festival indicates audience hunger for them.

Reviews, are the only advertising  many such small films receive.

The New York Times reviews every film that opens in that city, a luxury few papers can afford. I can attest to the diligence of the Journal Sentinel editor in charge to do so here, without using canned or syndicated material.

While I am confident in his ability to MacGyver a workaround those days are gone.

As a film critic, I miss the job.

But as an audience member, I’m going to miss the coverage.



Presstek Continues to Advance Chemistry-free Platemaking with JT Direct Inkjet CTP Plate

At a recently completed GRAPH EXPO show in Chicago, a major U.S. trade show for the printing and publishing industry, Presstek showcased JT, its new direct inkjet plate technology on the show floor. The Presstek JT aluminum plate is designed to be imaged on Epson inkjet printers with the printer’s standard ink cartridges. The JT plate enables for a low cost, easy-to-use CTP solution with an extremely small physical and environmental footprint. After imaging, plates go directly to press for impressions of 5,000 or less. A simple post-bake step is added for an impression count between 5,000 and 20,000.

Many small and medium size commercial and in-plant printers need a way to produce plates more efficiently and economically. Since commercialization, Presstek’s JT Direct Inkjet CTP solution has been successfully installed at customer locations in North America and Europe.

“The JT Direct Inkjet plate and CTP system exceeded our expectations—the image quality of the JT plate is as good and actually better than the plates we were previously using,” said BJ Chandler, owner of Fine Print, based in Alexandria, LA. “Not only is the plate cost lower, but we are realizing additional savings with not having to utilize and dispose of chemistry. It takes just a few minutes to get a plate on-press, and the burden of chemistry-based plates is eliminated. In addition we no longer need to spend time cleaning and maintaining a CTP device.”

Another advantage of the JT Direct Inkjet plate and CTP solution is its versatility. Customers are able to image plates on the Epson and immediately turn around and use the Epson for standard inkjet printing without any modifications or adjustments to the system.

According to Alon Kahn, sales manager-Inkjet CTP Systems, the JT Direct Inkjet plate and CTP solution is ideal for shops requiring up to 175 lpi image quality for their one-, two- or four-color jobs and whose production volumes are low- to mid-range. “Customers are extremely receptive to the initial low investment cost and are equally impressed with the versatility and simplicity of the system. This, coupled with the excellent image quality of the JT plate and proven performance on press, underscores the market’s continued acceptance of Presstek’s eco-friendly printing solutions,” said Kahn.

A wide variety of package options are available. Customers can choose from packages that come complete with an Epson 3880, 7900, or 9900 printer, the JT-RIP, computer, oven and starter kit, to mid-range or basic packages that include virtually any combination thereof.

Vision Graphics Expands Creative Capabilities with a New Komori Lithrone G40 Press with H-UV System

As one of Colorado’s 250 fastest growing privately owned companies and one of the top 400 largest printers in America, Vision Graphics and Eagle:xm know the importance of continually evolving in its commitment to help businesses use technology to create innovative and impactful connections. This commitment is what led the company to purchase an eight-color Komori Lithrone G40 (GL840) with an H-UV system to meet its clients’ growing requirements for higher quality color with greater productivity.

Showcasing a portfolio that produces impressive print results, color consistency and on-time distribution at unmatched parallels, Komori’s GL840 provides the perfect fit for Vision Graphics, whose customer portfolio ranges from high-end retail marketing materials to glossy catalogs and publications.

Answering requirements for outstanding color and fast turnaround
The new press is equipped with Komori’s H-UV system to further drive efficiency and print quality. H-UV is a proprietary, innovative ink curing system developed by Komori. H-UV inks respond to uncoated paper by curing instead of drying like traditional inks. Unlike the dull look that can come from traditional inks, H-UV delivers an organic high-gloss appearance on uncoated paper that is being sought after by designers and marketers seeking photo-quality print. Vision Graphics is the only commercial print provider in its area to offer this capability. An additional key driver in adding this advanced technology to the press included its ability to deliver a bindery ready sheet for fast job cycle time.

Delivering the ultimate customer experience
“In our business, it’s about understanding the customer and providing them what they need to drive their customers to engage with their brand. Precision printing is a large part of that,” said Mark Steputis, president and CEO, Vision Graphics. “Komori’s press simply outperforms the competition when it comes to producing the highest level of image and color quality and consistency. It helps us outperform our competition, deliver a seamless client experience and guard a company’s brand integrity at every step. We are excited to show our customers and prospects what they can do for their branded marketing initiatives with this amazing output.”

Additionally, the GL840 features cutting edge automation, including Komori’s revolutionary KHS-AI intelligent software with self-learning and automatic plate changing that minimize set-up time and waste, enabling Vision Graphics to deliver on very tight customer deadlines and produce shorter run work economically.

“The decision to purchase the GL840 with H-UV puts Vision Graphics in a unique position, as they are the only print provider in the area that has our innovative curing system H-UV,” said Jacki Hudmon, senior vice president of sales for Komori America. “The benefits of the H-UV system are many—for both Vision Graphics and its customers—given its ability to produce dramatic special effects on a variety of substrates, while still significantly improving efficiency and job turnaround times.”