Columbus Dispatch debuts new size
After more than a year of planning, a completely redesigned and resized Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch made its debut Jan. 28 as a fully sectioned com- pact broadsheet.
The Dispatch is the world’s first newspaper to adopt the format, made possible by Pressline Services Inc.’s 3Volution press modification offering.
The retooling is part of a larger project that included an agreement between the newspaper and Gannett Co. Inc. to produce The Cincinnati Enquirer and Kentucky Enquirer in the same format.
The redesigned Dispatch now measures 14.75 inches high and 11 inches wide; the paper formerly measured 22 inches high and 11.5 inches wide.
Pressline converted The Dispatch’s TKS (USA) M-72 presses by re-engineering cylinders to print three, rather than two, pages in a single revolution. The vendor also installed special folders, from Foldex Corp., and other components necessary to permit production of the newly sized Dispatch.
Three-around printing means a boost in color, and in straight mode, a 50 percent boost in press productivity. To that end, The Dispatch will be able to print 90,000 copies per hour on its re-engineered presses, allowing the paper to extend the life of its machines without having to pay for new, higher-capacity presses.
To enable additional production flexibility, crews left existing TKS folders in place for jobs
requiring 22-inch cutoffs.
The Dispatch also upgraded its prepress operations, adding three Krause LS Performance XXL violet CTP systems and associated Nela punch-benders and sortation systems. Each line can generate 160 three-around plates per hour. The violet LPN-NV plates are supplied by Fujifilm.
The paper also bolstered its Harland Simon Prima Esprit autoimpositioning system to address the new plate sizes.
The Dispatch added 12 Model 600 stackers from Quipp engineered to accommodate variable sizes and also tapped Goss International to modify pockets on its four Magnapak inserters. The presses were engineered for three web sizes — 42, 44 and 46 inches.
The Dispatch’s move to the new format was initially scheduled for last fall but Dispatch Printing Co. execs postponed the launch in order to address production issues that emerged during testing.
Phil Pikelny, The Dispatch’s chief marketing officer, said the conversion is redefining the role the newspaper will play in Columbus.
“I think this is such a userfriendly and user-directed change that for the industry as a whole, and certainly for us in Columbus, this is what we would call a game changer. We are seeing this in terms of current subscribers as well as those who weren’t subscribers taking a second look (at subscribing).”
Pikelny said Dispatch editors and executives also realize that despite the paper’s smaller format, content mustn’t be reduced. “The newspaper might be smaller in size, but the content has to be the same as it was in the broadsheet, or readers will clobber us.”
DPC spent thousands of dollars to seed the market in anticipation of the change, convening dozens of surveys with readers and advertisers. In addition, The Dispatch has purchased television and radio time to promote the new format.
“We’ll see what the excitement translates into in the coming months,” Pikelny said. “But all signs are positive.”
The Dispatch is expected to begin printing and distributing The Cincinnati Enquirer and Kentucky Enquirer in March.
The Columbus Dispatch’s new format allows sections, an important benefit to readers and advertisers.