Albany, NY - Right on schedule on 19th March 2013, production of the daily Times Union, an Albany-based newspaper of the US media group Hearst Corporation, was switched to a new Commander CL newspaper press from Koenig & Bauer (KBA).
Following Penzberg (end of January) and Rosenheim (end of February) in Bavaria, this was already the third KBA Commander CL to come on stream successfully within just two months. In the first year after its market launch, the Würzburg-based market leader for newspaper presses sold seven lines of this flexibly automatable press.
The replacement of a 1970 letterpress machine in favour of the superior quality of the flexible offset technology completes a major makeover for the leading daily newspaper serving the Capital District of New York State. The redesigned Times Union is now even more attractive for both readers and advertising customers. “We have been in the media business for over 150 years, and this is for us a major investment in the future of newspapers, which we believe will continue to serve the American public as far into the future as the eye can see,” said Hearst Corporation CEO Frank A. Bennack, Jr. “Just as we invest in apps, websites and new digital businesses, we must evolve our core print product in order to give readers and advertisers the highest quality experience across all platforms.”
George R. Hearst III, Times Union publisher and CEO, added: “At a time of great change in the media industry, when other newspapers are reducing production days or closing entirely, we are proud to be able to provide readers and advertisers with one of the best quality newspapers in the country. The redesigned Times Union sports improved print quality and enhanced photo and advertising reproduction, and content enhancements, such as our expanded weather report, TV listings and seven-day-a-week comics, can now be offered in convincing full colour. At the same time, we enjoy much greater freedom with regard to page layout.” The redesigned newspaper also includes a standalone “Perspective” section, which is to be published daily with local columnists and opinion pieces from the community. The paper's health section has been moved to Wednesdays to make room for a new automotive section on Saturdays.
Flexible equipment opens up new possibilities
The installation at the newspaper's upgraded Colonie print centre near Albany comprises two 32-page compact press lines with a total of four reelstands, four four-high towers and two folders. With a cut-off length of 533.4mm (21in) the new press is engineered for a maximum web width of 1,219.2mm (48in). The KBA Commander CL offers a rated output of 80,000 32-page or 40,000 64-page copies, all in full colour. Automatic roller locks, pumped ink supplies, washing systems and colour register control document the high level of automation, while one of the two folders can be set to handle variable web widths. A plough fold and skip slitter provide for additional production flexibility, and facilities for stitching, perforating and a quarterfold can be retrofitted as required. The three KBA ErgoTronic consoles incorporate KBA PressNet software for job scheduling and press presetting.