CJ Graphics looted during blackout
TORONTOAn investigation has been launched into a break-and-enter at CJ Graphics during the province-wide power outage of Aug. 14-15. Various computer equipment was stolen, said president Jay Mandarino, who declined to comment further, hinting that more information could be available next week.
Communicorps Staz goes belly up
HAMILTONFounded by brothers Barry, Bruce and Marty Staz in 1979, full-service printer Staz Communications has been pushed into bankruptcy leaving about 20 staff out of work. Toronto-based parent company Communicorp Corp. announced last week that its primary lender had petitioned the operation into receivership. Communicorp purchased Staz in February 2000 to reduce its concentration in the retail sector and bolster its presence in the western end of the so-called golden horseshoe region around Lake Ontario. Staz had estimated sales of $3.2 million in 1999 prior to Communicorps acquisition. Sales last year were about $2.4 million. One of the reasons we sold [to Communicorp], said former co-owner and current vice-president of operations Barry Staz, is that we needed a cash injection to upgrade our equipment. That never happened, he said, and as a result new presses and a planned move of CTP capability never took place. Most staff were released on Aug. 15. The competition in this industry has always been stiff but I would say that in the last two or three years, competition has become so severe and fierce that it was tough to make money, especially on dated equipment, Staz added. Margins have been so eroded that we were selling for less than we were three or four years ago. It became very difficult to make any money.
Aug. 26, 2003
KPG shuts Canadian office
MISSISSAUGAKodak Polychrome Graphics has closed its Canadian office here. KPG offices in New Jersey, New York and California have also been closed. KPG spokesperson Beth Hogan Scott says the closures relate to the implementation of an SAP management system across the company that will automate more back-room functions. She says the closure has nothing to do with last week's announcement that Eastman Kodak, which has a 50% stake in KPG, will be restructured into five divisions-including one called commercial printing. Eastman Kodak has been hurt by a decline in consumer film sales related to the rise of digital photography and declining international tourism, and is restructuring to grow its digital business in particular. Meanwhile, at KPG in Canada, many sales reps worked out of their homes; now all of them will do so. Two long-time managers at KPG in Mississauga will be let go. KPG is based in Norwalk, Conn.
Hayes Printing auction Sept. 9
TORONTOThe assets of Hayes Printing go to auction on Sept. 9 in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill. The company closed its doors in May when the bank called in a loan. Equipment for sale includes a Heidelberg 40" five-colour press, an Omnibinder bookletmaker, imagesetters, scanners and various machines and furniture. Inspection is Sept. 8, contact www.managingyourassets.com.
Aug. 22, 2003
Canadas first iGen3 installation
TORONTOThe Printing House chain of quick-print shops had two "firsts" this week. It installed Canadas first Xerox DocuColor iGen3 at its head office in Toronto. And it used two webcams to broadcast the installation on its Web site as the installation was happening; go to www.tph.com for the latest update. The iGen3 is Xeroxs much-anticipated entry into the full-colour digital production press market. The Printing House, Canadas largest privately held quick-printing branch business with more than 60 locations across the country, purchased the iGen3 to expand its business by increasing production of high-quality, full-color applications.
Curtis Paper closes all mills
MASSACHUSETTSCurtis Papers Inc., an American text and cover producer with mills here and in Michigan and New Jersey, has ceased all operations. The company blamed current realities of the North American paper market and rising costs of energy and fiber. Curtis made text and cover brands such as Brightwater, Graphika, Curtis Linen and Tweed Weave. The Canadian paper merchant was Buntin-Reid.
Aug. 19, 2003
Newspaper, publication printers cope with blackout
TORONTO-At 9 a.m. on Friday morning, Aug. 15, a red van pulled up in front of one Globe and Mail subscriber's home in Toronto. Gathered on the front porch was a group of neighbours sipping tea brewed on a camp stove. It had been 17 hours since the start of the Big Blackout. "Hey, you made it!" someone said to the carrier as the neighbours applauded. Indeed, the Globe and other newspapers, with their printers, beat the blackout by sending files from makeshift newsrooms to printers outside the blackout zone and trucking the papers back to Toronto and other no-juice regions. "I'm sure there was initially some concern at The Globe and Mail, but Transcontinental's large network of presses ended up making quick work of the crisis," says Tom Hogan, general manager of Transcontinental-owned Interweb Toronto. "Back-up power at The Globe allowed editors to transmit their copy to three of our Montreal plants, and we had 90,000 copies printed and half of those on their way to Ontario by the time power came back on at our Toronto plants around midnight." Power also went down when TV Guide was on press at Quebecor World. But luckily, says Maria Mendes, manager of print production for TV Guide and other Transcontinental Media publications, the listings magazine was ahead of schedule that week, with three of 13 editions already printed. "We met most of our commitments," she says. While presses and bindery lines were a little cranky after restarting-without any A/C to cool them down-and some magazines and papers were a little late, print got through.
U of T Press workers accept deal
TORONTO-Workers at U of T Press's printing plant and retail store location voted to accept a management offer last night, ending the threat of a strike. The 33 workers, represented by Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3261, had been in a legal strike position since Aug. 8. A pay dispute, job security and other issues were on the table; five workers laid off during the contract talks were rehired. "Everything is back to normal," says CUPE communications representative James Chai.
August 8, 2003
U of T Press strike action on hold
TORONTOThe strike deadline for 33 shipping and receiving workers at U of T Press's printing plant and retail store locations has been pushed back to Tuesday, Aug. 12. The workers, represented by Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3261, had been in a legal strike position as of 12:01 a.m. today, but CUPE communications representative James Chai says both parties agreed to extend the strike deadline. It's been reported that a pay dispute was at the centre of the negotiations, but Chai says it's not the only issue on the table. Talks between U of T Press and Local 3261 remain under a media blackout until Tuesday.
Annan & Bird moves to old Arthurs-Jones nest
MISSISSAUGA, ONLarge-format printer Annan & Bird Lithographers has spent the summer moving into the old Arthurs-Jones plant in Mississauga. The 65,000 sq. ft. facility has sat unused since July 2001 when Arthurs-Jones was forced into bankruptcy, owing approximately $17 million to creditors at the time of its demise. The move started in July and will finish this month, confirms owner Jack Bird. It means Annan & Bird will consolidate all its functions, including five large-format sheetfed presses and digital prepress, in the new plant. The Arthurs-Jones plant was built as a printing facility in the 1980s and was considered one of best plants in the country, with its layout subsequently copied by other printers.
Chatelaine opts for stochastic covers
TORONTOEditorial, art and production staff at Rogers Publishing's Chatelaineone of the largest consumer magazines in Canadaliked the results of its all-stochastic printed May issue so much, plans have been made to print the magazine's covers using stochastic screening on a permanent basis. John Hall, vice-president of production at Rogers, says stochastic is great for getting rid of moiré and makes small type appear much sharper in print. He says using the process adds approximately 15% to the cost of printing the covers, but adds he expects that cost to come down as the learning curve for press and plate calibration gets worked out. The monthly magazine, with a circulation of about 700,000, is printed at Quebecor's Aurora plant.
August 5, 2003
53-year-old shop finds new home
VICTORIAMorriss Printing, a 53-year-old shop with 10 employees, has been purchased by Colwood, B.C.'s Rolex Plastics Print Shop and will move into Rolex's new 30,000 sq. ft. plant in October. Keijo Isomaa, former owner of Morriss, will manage Morriss at the new location and he stresses that the company will continue using the name Morriss Printing. He says it's difficult for small shops to keep up with and pay for new technology and selling to Rolex, a company "three or four times larger," meant Morriss could get the resources it needed to fuel growth and expand its range of services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Morriss, as a division of Rolex, aims to expand its work in book printing.