By: Jim Rosenberg
News Corp. is no longer talking with The New York Times about printing the New York Post while work continues to enable the Post’s plant to take over The Wall Street Journal printing from the Dow Jones plant in South Brunswick, N.J.
In today’s Times, Richard-P?rez-Pe?a quotes Times President Scott Heekin-Canedy saying, “We are in discussions with News Corp. to allow them to make use of our presses” and calling it “an advantageous business transaction and nothing more.”
Asked to confirm that his organization approached Times, Joe Vincent, Post and Dow Jones Senior Vice President of Operations, said, “We did, but we couldn’t work out a deal.”
Vincent also challenged the Times report on the reason for seeking a printer and the duration of the work. “We didn’t need to do it because the project’s late,” he told E&P. “We wanted to build in a bigger buffer.” The outsourced printing, he added, was to last two weeks, not the two months that the Times reported, he added.
The Times’ unnamed sources were contradicted on one further point: “We never spoke to the Daily News” about printing the Journal, Vincent insisted.
The Daily News is the Post’s principal tabloid competitor, and the Journal aims to compete more directly with Times when it debuts its New York metro section in spring. Vincent said its launch date, as yet unspecified, has not changed.
The Post has engaged England’s Printing Press Services International for additional press work, Goss International for additional press towers, and Honeywell to upgrade press controls to manage production of the two newspapers.
The Goss “Postliner” presses designed for tabloid production will be able to function as a six-section broadsheet press, with folders for tabloid and broadsheet copies. The presses will be able to produce 160 tabloid pages (64 in full color) and 64 broadsheet pages (48 in full color), with two splittable towers that will raise capacity to 80 pages, although with less color, according to Vincent.
Goss will add three color towers to each press, creating 80-page, full-color broadsheet presses with six-section capability for the Journal.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported incorrectly that News Corp. sought another, temporary printer for the Wall Street Journal.