'Advocate' Selects Press, Plant Site in Baton Rouge

By: Jim Rosenberg Moving ahead with its production project, The Advocate in Baton Rouge, La., has selected MAN Roland to build its new press and a site near Interstate 10 on which to build its new plant.

According to the Advocate, parent company Capital City Press is looking to purchase 12.8 acres, where it will put up a 120,000-square-foot structure. Operations Director Kirk Fisher said the city government had approved the project for the location. The deal for the land is expected to close within about four weeks.

Fisher called the site a good fit with objectives that arose from Capital City Press' circulation distribution study, which called for distribution centers. He said the company was lucky because suitably zoned land is difficult to find in the city.

No decision has been made on the fate of the existing production facility and property, located near a building that the newspaper will lease later this year for its business and editorial offices (E&P, November 2004).

The new plant's 75,000cph offset press will aid delivery and be able to print more and better color than the existing letterpress equipment. The Advocate intends to purchase MAN's Regioman four-page-wide, one-page-around press. Erected over eight reelstands, the line will consist of four four-high full-color towers and two two-high units for black and spot color, with room on each end for another tower.

Production possibilities range from a 40-page edition with full color on every page to a 64-page edition with 40 process-color pages, eight spot-color pages, and 16 black-only pages.

Last month, Publisher Douglas Manship Jr. told his paper that after a production schedule is established for the new press, the company will seek further use of the new equipment. To that end, MAN also will supply a stitcher at the folder for commercial work.

Though the new plant is expected to be in production by October of next year, Fisher said MAN may be asked to advance the press' manufacturing timetable if the construction schedule can be moved up.

Design of the new plant has not advanced much, said Todd Heirls, McClier Corp. project manager for the Advocate, "because the press selection is so recent."

Heirls said the project has only just entered the stage in which building design at the new site is vetted against equipment selections. Initially, he said, the approach had been to try to maintain a sort of "universal" press hall so as to be able to accommodate "any kind of equipment that we could throw at it, based on [the client's] product plan." Almost two months remain in the design development phase, Heirls added.


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