News Archives
January 2001
January 30, 2001
Elm Street terminates contract with Transcontinental
TORONTO—Competitive friction prompted Elm Street to take its printing needs elsewhere reports Canadian magazine industry news source, Transcontinental Printing's RBW Graphics of Owen Sound, Ont. printed the glossy women's magazine since its launch in 1996. When Transcontinental's publishing arm purchased 11 consumer magazines from Telemedia Communications last March, a new dynamic emerged. "Transcontinental did a fabulous job of printing our magazine from day one—until they became our biggest competitor," said owner Greg MacNeil, CEO of Multi-Vision Publishing. "And we know [Transcontinental's] publishing arm talks about wanting to kill all its competition, particularly us." RBW Graphics general manager Brian Reid said there "were no delays or production problems that I'm aware of." Both Elm Street and sister title Owl Canadian Family are now printed by St. Joseph Printing of Concord, Ont.

2000 Third quarter printing sales up 9.3% from Q3 '99
TORONTO—Graphic Monthly magazine has surveyed the sales performance of publicly traded printing companies (14 in total) for the first three quarters of 2000, including industry giants Quebecor World Canada and Transcontinental. The third quarter 2000 performance showed the companies' revenues to be in good health with $1.76 billion in sales—9.3% healthier, in fact, than '99's third quarter sales of $1.61 billion. Year-to-date sales ending Sept. 30, 2000 totalled $5.10 billion, up 5.8% from $4.82 billion from the same period in '99.

January 26, 2001
The Globe to increase colour and page count
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail is increasing its page count and adding 66% more colour, says vice president of production, Andrew Ritchie. The move requires the national daily’s printers to beef up their plants with additional units and, in some cases, new equipment. In exchange for the expense and their efforts, The Globe has extended all four of its printers’ contracts for 10 years. The four printers include Transcontinental Printing Inc., North Hill News in Calgary, Brandon Sun in Brandon, Man., and College Printers in Vancouver. Transcontinental, which prints The Globe out of three locations: Web Atlantic in Halifax and Transcontinental Interweb in Boucherville, Que. and Mississauga, Ont., was the first to agree. At press time only Transcontinental had released the value of the contract stating it was between $750 million and $1 billion. All upgrades must be up and running by Sept., 2001.

La Presse to move to offset
MONTREAL — La Presse, a Montreal daily newspaper owned by Gesca Ltd., is going to change technologies. Spokesperson Caroline Jamet says it’s currently printed on a letterpress unit and adds “we’re at a point where we need to change our technology because most newspapers are printed on offset presses, which have a higher quality. It’s like the Formula One of printing.” The company plans to outsource the printing to Transcontinental Printing Ltd. under a 15-year contract that will also see the construction of a new plant. The agreement, though, hinges on the two unions, Le Syndicat des Communications Graphiques and Le Syndicat des énergie et du papier, and the 137 employees. Negotiations are currently in session. Francois Olivier, Transcontinental’s vice president Newspaper Group, says they have not commited to hiring from La Presse, but will hire internally from staff who already have offset experience. The contract, says Olivier, is valued close to $1 billion.

January 23, 2000
Rumours suggest Domtar to buy Coast Paper
TORONTO — Rumours have it that Domtar Inc. is the front-runner to acquire Coast Paper, which has been on the block since last November. Domtar, based in Montreal, is Canada’s largest producer of specialty and fine papers, and has its merchant divisions in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. Coast Paper is based in Vancouver with divisions in Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Regina and Toronto.

St. Joseph buys Thorn Press
TORONTO — Tony Gagliano, CEO of St. Joseph Corporation, confirmed yesterday that the company has signed a letter of intent to buy Thorn Press Ltd., also of Toronto. The deal is expected to close mid- to late-February. Gagliano calls the acquisition “a great fit.” “It’s a very high quality company with very similar values and culture,” he adds. Thorn Press has four majority owners, two of them are MacLean family members: Don and his daughter Diana. Diana, who is staying on as vice president and general manager, says the general commercial printer has two half webs, one full web, and two sheetfed presses. Up to 90 employees work out of a 62,000 sq.ft. site. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Arthurs-Jones Clarke running at full staff
TORONTO — After laying off some employees two weeks ago, president Emilio Ciampini says Arthurs-Jones Clarke Lithographing Ltd. recalled all staff and is operating at its usual 24-hour shift, five days per week schedule. Ciampini says “in the last two weeks because of the economic slowdown...we did [lay off a few people]...But now we’re back to full staff again.”

January 19, 2001
Moore closes research centre
TORONTO — Moore Corporation is closing its research centre and development facility in Grand Island, N.Y. The company announced that it will channel all future research efforts through its other business units at a reduced cost. The move is in line with president and CEO Robert Burton’s plan to reduce costs by $100 million.

Georgia-Pacific closes Kalamazoo plant
ATLANTA, Ga. — Georgia-Pacific Corp. has closed its Kalamzoo mill in Michigan. According to Georgia-Pacific spokesperson Greg Guest, the company had tried to sell the mill in the early 90s and in late 2000 but was unsuccessful. Guest says there are other producers of catalogue, textbook and insert paper that “are able to do it more efficiently...and had a better cost structure to make it...and earn more from it...We were in fact losing money.” The 100-year-old mill’s paper making machines dated back to the 50s and 60s. Up to 285 were employed at the mill, but Guest says the company tried to shift some employees to other divisions and help others with job counselling.

January 16, 2001
OPIA’s economic forecast
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — The OPIA (Ontario Printing and Imaging Association) held its annual Economic Forecast Dinner last Thursday night at the Mississauga International Centre. The two featured speakers were Harry Hassanwalia, deputy chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada, and Gary Forget, vice president development at Quebecor World Inc. The good news, said Hassanwalia, is that the economy is doing well and “stories that say the reverse are exaggerated.” Through a study he compiled last fall, Hassanwalia expects interest rates to remain unchanged for 2001, the Canadian dollar to grow to US69 cents, a modest inflation performance and capacity pressures and tight labour markets to ease alongside a slower, but not slow, growth in the economy. All in all, he said, the economy is set to come in for a “soft landing.” Forget pointed out to over 175 guests that newspapers, business forms and general commercial (cut-size papers) products are the markets “under siege.” While inserts, direct mail, catalogues, specialty newspapers and magazines, and general commercial (not cut-size) products were those markets expected to do well.

Metroland buys QE Web Printing
TORONTO — Metroland Printing, Publishing & Distributing Ltd. acquired QE Web Printing of Oakville, Ont. QE has a staff of 30 and prints several local newspapers for Metroland. The QE plant houses a cold-web press and sheetfed presses. Metroland is a division of Torstar Corporation, a publishing company that owns daily newspapers, including The Toronto Star, and Harlequin Enterprises, publisher of series romance fiction, among other holdings. Metroland produces 69 community newspapers and distributes advertising materials.

January 12, 2001
Lowe Martin opens new plant
OTTAWA — Lowe Martin Group is opening a new plant in Mississauga, says president and CEO Ward Griffin. The plant is scheduled to open mid-February. Griffin says the 25,000 sq.ft. site will contain a full prepress department, Xerox DocuTech, Heidelberg Quickmaster DI, three sheetfed, offset, four-colour presses (the models and names have not yet been confirmed) and some finishing, fulfillment, and warehousing capabilities. “On a smaller scale we should be able to replicate what we provide in Ottawa,” says Griffin. The company expects to be hiring between 10 and 20 staff over the next six months. A name for the plant has not yet been released.

Don’t buy the $1 million bill
OTTAWA — The RCMP issued a press release Jan. 9 asking the public not to purchase a counterfeit $1 million bill. Paul Marsh, spokesperson for the RCMP, said yesterday that “within the context of the Criminal Code this bill may constitute an infraction.” The existence of this particular counterfeit was discovered last fall when a consumer, who had purchased one of the bills in the Ottawa area, made a complaint. The bills were found across Canada. Before the RCMP went public with the news, they first contacted and asked all retailers to refrain from selling them. They also contacted the printer, but would not disclose its identity to the media. The printer, called DVB Novelties, is apparently located in Orleans, Ont. Its telephone number is not listed.

January 9, 2001
Moore to cut 10% of work force
TORONTO — Robert Burton, the newly appointed president and CEO of Moore Corp., announced a cost reduction program that would cut 10% of the company’s workforce and examine all of the company’s business lines. Spokesperson Stephen Forbes said yesterday that few, if any, jobs will be lost in Canada. The bulk of the job cuts will occur over the next 12 to 18 months at the Chicago-based headquarters. Most of those positions will be in administration. “Clearly [Burton] came here because our performance was clearly unacceptable to the shareholders, the board and to the company overall,” said Forbes. Burton was the former chairman, president and CEO of World Color Press. Moore has 14,700 employees worldwide; about 1,200 are found in Chicago. According to a story in The Toronto Star on Dec. 4, Moore had instituted cost cutting measures two years earlier and expected to cut 4,800 jobs by 2001. Moore has already eliminated 4,100 jobs and closed 10 of its 55 plants in North America—three of them in Canada.

January 3, 2001
CPIA hires new president
OTTAWA — The Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA) has hired a replacement for out-going president Michael Makin. Pierre Boucher was notified Dec. 11 that he was the successful candidate for the position. There were over 30 applicants. Makin says the Search Committee made its decision Dec. 8 after a day of final interviews in Toronto. Boucher is the vice president of the Canadian Construction Association and has been there for over 12 years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Linguistics and a Masters of Arts in International Affairs. The Search Committee included Don Gain, chairman; Martin Zip, vice chairman and treasurer; Tom Blockberger, immediate past chairman; Jeff Ekstein, Government Affairs Committee chairman; and France Gagné, president of the Association des arts grafiques du Quebec (AAGQ).

The status of variable data printing
HARRISVILLE, R.I. — According to a recent report from TrendWatch, a research company that issues reports on the graphics, publishing and electronic media markets, digital colour variable printing jobs dropped from 26% last spring to 4% this past fall. Conversely, variable-data printing as an opportunity for small commercial printers (one to nine employees) rose from 4% to 7% since last spring. TrendWatch claims that unless something changes in the industry, variable-data printing as envisioned by some digital press manufacturers will “remain a pipe dream.”
North Island Publishing MastheadOnline gutenbergs' guide PrintCAN Print World 2010  
Canada’s Estimators' & Buyers' Guide Design City Graphic Monthly