By: Jim Rosenberg
The Silver City (N.M.) Daily Press has moved printing from its own pressroom to a printer in Las Cruces that runs the paper on its three Goss singlewide towers.
Beginning last month, 8,900 copies of the afternoon paper (which also counts 300 paid e-editions) have been trucked back from Signature Offset, a commercial printer with whom “we had already been working,” said owner and Publisher Christina Ely. When the publisher’s new residents and visitors guide was changed from a tabloid to a stitched 8.5×11-inch booklet, Signature took over the job, as well as her “Traditions in New Mexico” Christmas guide.
Ely said outsourcing the printing has led to “reduced stress” and a greater ability to concentrate on publishing. The Daily Press is Signature’s first daily, according to Ely, who said the firm handles all the area weeklies. The larger commercial printer also is able to secure better pricing on consumables than the daily could.
The Daily Press still uses its six King Press units to produce its own tv programming tabloid and such local jobs as the university student newspaper and various programs. But at more than 30 years old, the press could not be expected to support daily newspaper runs, and certainly not with the color that Ely wanted to give customers. The publisher noted that color register was hard to hold on the old press.
Citing Signature’s new technology, Ely said her paper’s historic headquarters would have to be vacated or enlarged if it were to install its own new platesetting and printing equipment. The daily dates from 1935, preceded by a weekly launched in 1896.
Other than pages that are an inch narrower, the difference in the Daily Press in the last month shows mostly in the good color. “It allows us to compete with the big chains that are all around us,” said Ely. She said she expects the paper to survive as an independent business as long as it continues to serve Silver City and Grant County.
Las Cruces is more than 110 miles east of Silver City, but with no traffic jams and afternoon distribution, the distance is not critical. “We’re all used to driving large distances,” Ely remarked. “The pressmen like driving a truck. It’s a lot easier than running a press.”