PI 400 — Publications – Ad or Subtract

BY MARK SMITH

It has been the best of times and the worst of times for the publication industry, with all do apologies to Charles Dickens (“Tale of Two Cities”).

Top 10 — Publication Printers
  Company Segment
Sales
(millions)
Total
Sales
(millions)
1 Quebecor World
Montreal
$1,885 $6,500
2 R.R. Donnelley & Sons
Chicago
$1,208 $5,254
3 Quad/Graphics
Pewaukee, WI
$684 $1,800
4 Cadmus Communications
Richmond, VA
$416 $526
5 Brown Printing
Waseca, MN
$304 $376
6 Perry Judd’s Inc.
Waterloo, WI
$206 $343
7 Banta Corp.
Menasha, WI
$200 $1,538
8 Vertis Inc.
Baltimore
$199 $1,986
9 Publishers Printing/
Publishers Press
Shepherdsville, KY
$186 $186
10 IKON Office Solutions
Malvern, PA
$135 $900
Sales figures are based on above printers’
self-reported total and market segment breakdowns.

One hesitates to look at any development coming out of the 9/11 attacks as a positive, but the publication media’s value to readers and technical prowess were clearly demonstrated in the days that followed. For example, both Time and Newsweek were able to rush special editions to newsstands by the following Thursday, with people lining up to buy commemorative issues.

Such feats would have been unthinkable even a few short years ago, without the efficiencies of a digital workflow and modern presses.

Less than a month later, though, the industry found itself scrambling to respond to fears stemming from cases of Anthrax infection. Suddenly, the everyday manufacturing practices of using anti-offset spray powders, drying agents and powders carrying perfume samples had magazine recipients dialing 911.

Long lead times—for advertising contracts, new title launches and some production schedules—mean the publication industry may not feel the full financial impact of recent events until after the first of the new year. Unfortunately, the news was already pretty bad before the terrorist attacks.

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