UPDATE: ‘Press & Dakotan’ Buys Press, Builds Plant

By: Jim Rosenberg

Yankton (S.D.) Media, Inc., which publishes the Press & Dakotan, Vermillion Plain Talk, Missouri Valley Shopper and Vermillion Broadcaster, announced it will build a new printing plant adjacent to the P&D’s main plant, at the site of building that was razed.

The new facility will house a larger press, according to co-owner and Publisher Gary Wood. A 12-unit Goss Suburban recently acquired from a Michigan comercial printer will replace the P&D’s seven-unit Harris V15 dating from 1963 and the Broadcaster’s seven-unit News King press.

“We just received the last of the units today,” Wood told E&P, after he and production chief Bob Miles helped unload the last of eight truck lods to arrive since last week.

To be cleaned and refurbished, the two-folder press consists of two four-high towers and two two-high stacks with a Perretta innking system.

Frank Bourlon of the Newspaper Production & Research Center in Oklahoma City found, inspected and saw to the Suburban’s removal and will be in charge of its installation, according to Wood.

“It’s great to finally see some progress happening with the oldest newspaper in the Dakotas,” Wood told his paper in a July 16 story by Managing Editor Kelly Hertz. “It’s something we couldn’t get previous corporate ownership to do.?

GateHouse Media Inc. acquired the P&D (and 13 other dailies) from Morris Publishing Group late last year. This spring it sold the P&D and the area weeklies to Yankton Media.

Yankton architect Glenn Mannes’ firm designed the new building. The old structure was in bad shape and lacked adequate height for the press, which also required “a much more substantial foundation,” Mannes said.

The new structure will have a historic look to it with a brick fa?ade. “It’s something that will fit in the downtown area,” Wood said. A local construction firm is expected to begin work within weeks and compete the project before year’s end.

The P&D account quoted Mannes saying, “This design certainly was not the easiest or cheapest way to enclose this printing press building, but Gary was committed to doing something appropriate within the historic district.”

Crew taining should require two to four weeks, according to Wood, who said he’d like to see the Suburban operating by New Year’s day. After that, page and color capacity will increase and print quality should improve, according to the publisher, who added that the new press will at first print only the Press & Dakotan, with other titles and commercial work taken on over time.

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