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UPFRONT

February 2009
Valassis Countersues Fraser

LIVONIA, MI—Valassis Communications has filed a countersuit against Fraser Papers in district court in Maine. Earlier, Fraser had taken Valassis to court over an alleged unpaid bill for 1.8 million pounds of specialty paper valued at $933,000. In Valassis’ countersuit, the printer contends it has not paid the amount allegedly due Fraser because of an earlier outstanding debt owed by Fraser to Valassis for defective paper. Valassis says it is willing to satisfy the debt as soon as Fraser provides it an appropriate credit for the defective product.

Army Apologizes for Gaffe

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Army said that 7,000 family members of soldiers killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were mistakenly sent letters addressing them as “John Doe.” The Army said the generic salutations were the result of a printing error. The letters were sent in December to inform survivors about private organizations that offer gifts, programs and assistance to families who have lost soldiers.

New Jersey Printers Merge

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ—East Coast Media, based here, has merged with The Printing Co., of North Brunswick, NJ. The combined company will operate under the East Coast Media name. East Coast Media provides large-format printing, binding and mailing services, among others.

Embezzler Lands Herself in Jail

MODESTO, CA—A printing company’s former office manager will be spending the next year in jail after pleading no contest in December to embezzlement and identity theft charges. Prosecutors said that Jessica Sue Hoover, 25, stole $76,000 from Gowans Printing between January 1, 2007, and July 14, 2008, according to the Modesto Bee. In addition to the jail time, Hoover was ordered to pay restitution and court fees.

manroland Announces Changes

WESTMONT, IL—With customers worldwide delaying purchasing decisions due to the weak economy, manroland AG’s supervisory board will trim 515 jobs in indirect functions in the Sheetfed Press Business sector in Offenbach, Germany, and 110 jobs in indirect functions in the Web Press Business sector in Augsburg, Germany, for 2009 and 2010. In addition, the Mainhausen factory located outside of Frankfurt, Germany, will be closed, and the product lines assembled there will be integrated into the main sheetfed press factory in Offenbach.

Newspapers Cut Delivery

DETROIT—The newspaper community took another hit with the announcement that the city’s two dailies would reduce home delivery to three days a week, printing smaller editions on non-delivery days and encouraging people to get information online. David Hunke, chief executive of Detroit Media Partnership, which runs the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, said the move would be vital in keeping the papers afloat.

Ames Buys Landmark System

SOMERVILLE, MA—Ames On-Demand will be the first company in North America to install the Xerox 980 color continuous-feed printing system. Ames On-Demand prints textbooks, lab manuals and other books for higher education publishers. The company believes the toner-based Xerox 980 will significantly expand its textbook business, as well as enable Ames On-Demand to grow into new markets.

WMSG Adds Digital Presses

DALLAS—WMSG has augmented its digital production color press arsenal with the acquisition of three more machines from the Kodak Nexpress platform: two new Kodak Nexpress S3000 digital production color presses and one existing Kodak Nexpress S2500 digital color press that was converted to a Nexpress S3000. These machines join the six existing devices at WMSG that have been upgraded over the years.

Quad Charity Donates $1M

SUSSEX, WI—The Windhover Foundation, a charitable organization funded by Quad/Graphics and the Quadracci family, has donated $1 million to food banks and meal programs in southeastern Wisconsin and six other U.S. locations where Quad/Graphics has printing facilities. The donation is in addition to the $420,000 in contributions given by the foundation to hunger-relief organizations last fall.

Visual Pak Acquires Norka

WAUKEGAN, IL—The Visual Pak Cos. has completed a deal to acquire Norka Inc., of Appleton, WI. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Norka will continue to operate in its Appleton facility and will provide Visual Pak with specialty packaging, commercial printing and custom paper conversion.

In-Plant Director Is Indicted

ATHENS, OH—A former Ohio University in-plant director has been indicted by a grand jury on charges in connection with more than $100,000 worth of university contracts awarded to businesses owned by his wife. David Kasler has been charged with two felony counts of having an unlawful interest in a public contract and felony counts of theft by deception and theft in office, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Kasler retired last July.

Knight Printing Nabs Cook Sign

FARGO, ND—Knight, the parent company of Knight Printing, announced that it has acquired Fargo-based Cook Sign, the Bismarck Tribune reported. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The combined company will have more than 110 employees. Knight CEO Rich Slagle told the paper that the deal allows the companies to expand their products for new clients. The Marcil Group provided financing, advisory and real estate support for the acquisition, the Tribune reported. Marcil Group will reportedly invest more than $1 million to update Cook’s equipment.


 

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