Rosenthal Demise Both Slow and Painful
CINCINNATI—S. Rosenthal & Co., a once-proud franchise that traced its roots back to 1868 (when Andrew Johnson resided in the White House), limped to a lifeless halt in early April when both its Heritage Graphics plant in Portland, TN, and its corporate headquarters in the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash, OH, were closed.
In all, the company’s closing left nearly 300 employees without jobs. However, there were fewer than 50 employees remaining by the final day.
Last fall, the company announced it would no longer print TV Guide after the venerable publication decided to switch from digest format to 8 1/2 x11” At the time, Rosenthal President and CEO Robert Slattery said his company did not have a press to accommodate the new size and refused to invest millions in a new press when readers might not embrace the larger format. Thus, Rosenthal’s primary printing operations (with the exception of corporate, sales and some prepress operations) were merged with its Heritage Graphics plant.
S. Rosenthal & Co. never recovered from the loss of TV Guide, which accounted for nearly half of its annual revenues. This past February, following a failed merger with another publishing company, Rosenthal saw its bank loan foreclosed, according to a former employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity. That triggered the beginning of the layoff process.