The stakes are high for the nation's biggest paper-making state: The ownership uncertainties have cropped up at a precarious moment when demand for coated printing-grade paper is on the latest leg of a sharp multiyear, digitally driven decline, sparking speculation of a renewed round of mill shutdowns.

Verso Paper this year announced it wants to acquire NewPage Holdings in a deal that would combine the two biggest coated paper producers in North America—raising questions about what the merged company would do with its new excess capacity.

Wisconsin's stable of printing press operators, collectively the fifth-largest industry in the state, has been blindsided by the Internet, e-books and a wicked recession.

Yet the biggest challenge is not technology, but complacency, according to the chief economist for the National Association for Printing Leadership, a trade group.

"Our biggest threat is complacency, the status quo, and assuming that what worked yesterday will work tomorrow," Andrew Paparozzi told a gathering of commercial printers from Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana on Thursday.

Quad/Graphics is expanding its sprawling Oklahoma City printing facility and adding to its workforce. The Wisconsin-based company is adding a 93,800-square-foot storage area to its building at 6801 S Sunnylane Road at an estimated cost of $7 million. The company also is installing a press for magazine and catalog work.

Quad/Graphics has been consistently growing its Oklahoma City presence since opening the plant in 2003 at 218,000 square feet and 100 employees. The Oklahoma City workforce is up to 600 and will top 700 once the openings are filled.

The Garvey Group, a network of advertising, marketing, print production, support, and fulfillment divisions located in the Midwest, has become the first printer in the United States to install Screen’s Truepress Jet2500UV grand format UV inkjet printer. The installation took place in January 2009 and since then the company has been consistently producing high quality tightly calibrated grand-format work on the new printer.

MIAMISBURG, OH—NewPage Corp. announced that it plans to take approximately 150,000 tons of market-related downtime on its paper machines at various mill locations during the second quarter of 2009. The move was based on estimates of market demand and inventory levels. Specific operating and curtailment plans, as well as timing, will be developed across NewPage mills to best satisfy customer commitments.

While the upcoming World Water Week (March 22-28) focuses attention on ways to assist more than one billion people on our planet who don’t have access to clean, safe water, INX International Ink Co. is already actively involved. One of the world’s largest ink manufacturers is a key supporter of CannedWater4Kids, a North American based program with global reach that is designed to create awareness and fund projects to purify water for children in developing nations.

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