"It's a whole new ball game, a whole new changing zone. Having plates ready to go for a new run, being able to keep waste to a minimum, getting comps correct right from the start. Everything's been a learning experience."
Everything except color, that is. Merriman claims the newspaper's color quality is "second to none," and he believes that's a big reason his commercial business is growing.
"Color is excellent all through the paper, not just on the front page," he boasts. "We take a lot of pride in our quality. Quality is why we've been successful in both our mainstay and supplemental business."
The Dispatch grew a commercial reputation based on the established quality of its newsprint product. As a quality newspaper printer, the company knew it could produce a high-quality commercial product, so it proceeded to grow the idea.
Whether they're printing the newspapers, the inserts or any number of products in between, newspaper publishers are hustling to fill their press schedules with commercial work. "It's imperative to keep your presses operating," says Merriman. "When they're running, you're making money. And that's the bottom line."