UPFRONT

Postal Commission OKs Hike

WASHINGTON, DC—A 5.4 percent increase in United States Postal Service (USPS) rates virtually across the board has been approved by the Postal Rate Commission. The rate increases were expected to take effect by the middle of January. The increase will help the USPS meet its $3.1 billion escrow payment due in 2006. Nonprofit mailings will go up by 3 percent, while the book rate will balloon 12.7 percent, in accordance with the requirement that all classes of mail cover their direct cost of service. A First Class stamp will rise by 2 cents.

Quad Signs Billion Dollar Deal

SUSSEX, WI—Quad/Graphics and Time Inc. have reached a $1.1 billion contract extension for the print production of 22 titles through the year 2013. Quad will print all of Time Inc.’s major titles, including Time, Sports Illustrated, People and Entertainment Weekly. As part of the deal, Quad was awarded the printing of additional copies of Time, Sports Illustrated and People. They will be produced at Quad’s newer Oklahoma City plant beginning in January of 2007.

Fire Damages Illinois Plant

MOUNT MORRIS, IL—A Quebecor World plant located here caught fire October 25, according to company spokesman Tony Ross. No one was injured, but the facility’s No. 10 press suffered significant damage. Ross said the blaze was still under investigation, but that the company was not releasing any information.

UniGraphic Acquires Synergy

WOBURN, MA—UniGraphic Inc., a full-service printer based here, has acquired Synergy Graphics, of Wilmington, MA. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the companies have a combined $20 million in annual sales. The old Synergy facility has been closed, with employees being relocated to UniGraphic’s plant. UniGraphic specializes in very-large-format printing, including billboard-size jobs.

McLaughlin Resigns from Post

HUDSON, NH—Digital imaging solutions provider Presstek announced the resignation of Susan McLaughlin, president of ABD International, North America. The departure of McLaughlin, also a Presstek senior vice president, follows Presstek’s decision to dissolve ABD International’s operations. The company has consolidated ABDick’s sales, service and other operational functions with Presstek.

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