By: Ed Zintel
What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?
The greatest challenge was meeting expectations during the start up of our new facility. As with just about any new facility we had problems with equipment and systems in several departments. We asked for help from our vendors as well as other sites using similar equipment. We created detailed “punch lists” of things to be corrected and made some changes in our operating plans, such as running complete six-section papers in the pressroom to avoid having to assemble completes every night in packaging. We were able to get everything running smoothly in a few months and began printing USA Today shortly thereafter.
Where do you see the future of print production?
Obviously, it is declining on the mainland. But we have seen strong demand across all our products here in Hawaii. While it is likely that more people will access news and info on their desktop or mobile devices there are some things that are far better in print. For example, our newsroom has done some special projects with great graphics in full-page or double-truck spreads. One example was the diagram of the Hokule’a canoe that will sail around the world. The story and graphics are fabulous in print but are not practical to read on a cell phone or tablet
What printing technologies are you most excited about?
Digital ink jet printing probably has the greatest potential to change our industry. We’ve been following it for the last five years and think it is very useful for products up to 5k quantity. But the page capacity and speed need to increase by a factor of 10 before this technology could replace an offset press.
Marty Black is the production director of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. He has worked in the newspaper industry for nearly 40 years at major metros in Washington, DC, San Diego and Seattle. Black assisted in the design and start up of the Star-Advertiser’s $82 million production facility which went online in 2004. He earned a BS degree in newspaper production management from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1981.