By: Jim Rosenberg

‘Instant Editions’ Follow PressPoint Model

Xerox Corp. believes that if it remains strictly a technology
partner to newspapers – keeping its hands off the ad dollars
and its name off the front pages – it can succeed where a
pioneering former partner’s enterprise did not. The company will
create a document-transmission network that will include
newspapers and a number of its own customers with the purpose of
printing specially prepared editions for particular, usually
foreign, markets.

Based on experience helping the Rochester (N.Y.)
Democrat and Chronicle and The Philadelphia
Inquirer output “instant editions” for special events, The
Arizona Republic print its “Special Beach Edition” for
vacationers in San Diego, and the dozens of dailies that
partnered with the erstwhile PressPoint service to produce their
Global Editions, the Rochester, N.Y.-based company will roll out
the Xerox Newspaper Network next year.

Pilot projects were undertaken in Europe this year, a trial is
slated for early next year, and the full network rollout is to
get under way by summer. Network Director Lois F. Niland said
publishers will be invited to participate in the 13-week trial.
Targeted publishers will be those who have or wish to develop
overseas markets.

Niland promises they will be able to reach “almost anywhere in
the world via our network.” That’s because Xerox has 22,000
DocuTech machines of one model or another installed worldwide.
Xerox will contract with participating customers, who will
deliver copies to local distributors. “That arrangement,” said
Niland, “will be between the publishers … and their selected

Publishers will be responsible for creating versions of their
papers suitable for output on A3-size (11 by 17 inches) cut
sheets in Xerox black-and-white or color printers. Converted to
Adobe’s Portable Document Format, then further compressed without
image loss using Piranha Byte software, the editions will be sent
to print site(s) over a virtual network – a secure, private
space on the Internet – managed by Xerox that will
incorporate order entry, job ticketing, and billing. Niland
emphasized that the network itself “will be invisible to the

The editions “will look very much like the product we did for
The Guardian in Copenhagen and Athens,” said Niland of the
pilot project last April and May. “The amount of color is at the
discretion of the publisher,” she added, noting that there are “a
range of Xerox color printers” now in use.

Editions may consist of 24 to 66 pages on cut sheets that are
bound on the left side with clear glue. Niland said the glue was
chosen as a result of preferences shown during the spring pilot
– during which buyers also demonstrated a preference for
something other than the comparatively heavy white paper.

Niland said that because buyers equated the stock with cheap
office copier paper, Xerox had to come up with something more
like familiar newsprint. Ironically, that meant spending more on
a less white, less bright recycled sheet that resembled

Xerox expects participation mostly from international dailies
seeking better or first-time availability in some markets and
from national dailies wishing to reach potential readers living
or traveling abroad. Most interest has been among European
dailies, according to Niland, who said she expects many will
print at U.S. sites. Most U.S. national dailies already have
international distribution, she said, and interest in out-of-

state distribution of major metros is expected to be fairly
limited owing to the absence of a language barrier preventing
travelers from reading another city’s daily.

Xerox picks up where PressPoint left off when that business’
backers turned off their funding. Xerox customers were
PressPoint’s local print-site partners. Now the company that sold
so many DocuTech and DocuColor machines can help steer some new
and continuing business to its customers.

But what makes Niland think Xerox will survive where PressPoint
did not? Prospective publisher partners made it clear they did
not want Xerox to sell ads or compete with their brands, she
said, “as PressPoint did by putting [its] name on the product.”
PressPoint needed brand recognition among publishers, she
continued, “but they didn’t need it with the end user.” Niland
added that PressPoint set its Global Editions’ copy price and
their “narrow” distribution, which missed some hotels and many
expatriate communities.

Still, Niland credits PressPoint with getting much of the
business right and showing publishers that opportunities exist
outside their home markets. “Unfortunately, they weren’t able to
adapt quickly enough as the market needs made themselves known.”

Jim Rosenberg ( is a senior editor covering newspaper technology
for E&P.

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