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Media General Selects KBA Comet for Bristol Herald Courier

Press release from the issuing company

June 4, 2004 -- To help meet its expected needs over the next two to three decades, Media General, Inc has selected a KBA Comet as the newspaper press for its Bristol Herald Courier in Virginia. According to Bob Rogers, vice president operations at Media General’s publishing division, ”The Comet will replace our 40-year-old, obsolete press. In the new operation, we will gain multicolour capabilities and many other technology efficiencies in a modern newspaper plant.” Added Bruce Richardson, KBA’s national accounts manager, ”We’re taking designs and technology from our other presses and incorporating them into our newspaper presses to allow publishers to do more things and build revenues in non-newspaper areas. For example, the Herald Courier’s Comet will be able to print three broadsheet pages across one web, as opposed to the traditional two-page-wide format.” To accomplish this, KBA is incorporating specially designed turner bar and ribbon decks, with the folders positioned at right angles to the press lines. The result is a 50 per cent increase in page capacity with only a small increase in capital investment. Also, this Comet will be set up to allow printing on variable web widths ranging from 559 to 1,000mm, enabling the Herald Courier operation to enter the semi-commercial ring. The layout also offers a tremendous amount of flexibility. According to Gary Owen, KBA North America‘s director of marketing and newspaper sales, ”It’s designed so that two parallel presses can either work together or independently. You can bring webs from either press into one folder or from each press into its own folder.” The project includes a floor mounted Comet press (in two lines) with a total of five eight-couple towers and a future position for an additional tower. It will be configured with seven KBA Pastoline reelstands with infeed systems, two 2:3:3 KBA KF 3 jaw folders, one KBA quarter folder and an EAE press control system with four consoles. Maximum capacity will be 75,000cph straight or 37,500cph collect, with a 533.4mm cut-off. Media General intends to build a new 5,000m² production facility in Bristol Industrial Park, Bristol, Tennessee, about four miles from the current facility, to house press and packaging. Installation is to start by June 2005, with the press expected to be on-edition by October 2005. Media General owns and operates The Tampa Tribune, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Winston-Salem Journal and 22 other daily newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina, as well as nearly 100 other periodicals. It also has a 20 per cent interest in The Denver Post. The Herald Courier has a daily circulation of 41,735. Sunday circulation is 43,870.