Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Color Again for the Daily News?

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Color Again for the Daily News?

Article excerpt

New York's Daily News is prepared to give color another try. But while its keyless offset presses were retrofitted with new inkers, very little color has appeared since the tab carried New York Jets green late last football season.

After six months, color disappeared from weekday editions after St. Patrick's Day 1998. About three weeks later, the paper's national edition which went to color even earlier reverted to black and white. And by late June, Sunday editions, too, were monochrome.

The 723,000-circulation (810,000 Sundays) paper was the first to buy its namesake Goss Newsliner presses from Rockwell Graphic Systems and the only to use Rockwell's original keyless inking system.

Goss Graphic Systems took over Rockwell's press business (and now offers a redesigned keyless inker), and Daily News L.P. sued both Rockwell and Goss, complaining of technical shortcomings and breach of contract (E&P, Nov. 22, 1997).

The suit was dismissed and Daily News twice failed to appeal the dismissal, making the trial court's order final, according to Goss. Daily News executive vice president and chief legal officer Martin D. Krall did not return calls for comment.

Goss eventually dealt with some Daily News complaints. For example, it installed decking where the customer had resorted to wooden planks in the upper levels to span gaps left for future press units something former Daily News manufacturing vice president J.A. "Andy" Riggs Jr. considers no more than a planning oversight by Goss.

A major sore point, however, was performance of the first-generation inker. Because the operation could not wait for Goss to replace its inker, says Riggs, the paper went to another supplier. When the job in the new, Jersey City, N.J., plant was done and his contract fulfilled, Riggs, himself, went to the same supplier Printing Press Services International, Preston, England.

PPSI installed a trial inker in December of 1997, says Riggs, and the paper began a full conversion in June of last year. This past January it finished retrofitting the last of the plant's 144 keyless printing couples with standard (not keyless) PPSI inkers.

The only modification ordinarily made to the inker, Riggs notes, is fitting it to a given web width. The Daily News, he explains, had to reposition a couple of its presses' rubber inking rollers, add the PPSI system's copper micrometric rollers (knurled press-speed drums, "wiped" by slower, smaller rollers to suppress streak-causing ink beading, that transfer ink from rail to train), and modify some of the press geometry raising units to install the inker canister underneath because the Newsliner's sideframes are comparatively close together.

The paper's own pressroom personnel performed the gradual installation, with guidance of PPSI. …

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