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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Despite having made no official statement that merger talks were in progress, Reuters has revealed that manroland has called off the much-rumoured merger talks with Heidelberg, due to "poor financial results" of its larger rival.

The report cites it has consulted with three sources familiar with the matter. It also revealed that a merger in the future was not out of the question, but it would lie beyond 2010.

Heidelberg made a financial announcement on Friday saying it expects its net results for 2009 to be far below that of the previous year. The company will release its final numbers on November 10. Heidelberg's stock took a steep dive at the report on Monday, losing over 20 percent of its value.

According to Reuters, "Heidelberg's profit warning came just days before manroland and Heidelberg were to formally agree to proceed with merger talks."


Read the Reuters report here.

Wednesday, 07 October 2009

Amazon announced today that its Kindle e-book device will be launching in over 100 new countries starting on October 19, but Canada is noticeably absent from said list.

“We have millions of customers in countries all over the world who read English-language books,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO. “Kindle enables these customers to think of a book and download it wirelessly in less than 60 seconds.”

Except in Canada.

When a Canadian attempts to order the device, he or she is greeted with the following message: Unfortunately, we are currently unable to ship Kindles or offer Kindle content in Canada. We are working to make Kindle available to our Canadian customers as soon as possible.

The Kindle will be reaching developing nations such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sri Lanka and will have access to thousands of English-language books and dozens of international newspapers. The service will also cover most of Europe and even Australia.

While Amazon does not explain why Canada was excluded from the international launch, some have speculated it is due to a lack of a sympathetic wireless carrier in the country or the lack of publisher co-operation.

Tuesday, 06 October 2009

Struth Publishing of Killarney, Manitoba has installed a new Fujifilm Luxel V8 CTP with single cassette autoloader along with an XMF workflow purchased from Fujifilm Canada. This marks the company's transition from film to CTP.

Struth Publishing is a family-owned business, which started publishing the community's independent newspaper, The Killarney Guide, in 1896. In 1986, the company installed a web press and started printing other local papers. Today, the second generation of the Struth family, Curt and Jay, run the company with seven full-time staff, printing 16 newspapers a week.



Tuesday, 06 October 2009

Illustration courtsey of Gizmodo
The fabled tablet computer from Apple gained more attention recently as popular technology site Gizmodo published a new feature which ruminates on Apple's intentions, including a move into the e-book and publication market. Apple, characteristically, has been tight-lipped about the development.

"Long having established music, movie and TV content, Apple is working hard to load up iTunes with print content from several major publishing houses across several media," writes contributor Brian Lam.

According to Gizmodo, Apple is set to announce a tablet device as early as January. Running on a modified version of OSX, similar to the iPhone, the device will also sport a 10.7-inch display (vs. the iPhone's 3.5-inch).

Gizmodo claims to have information about the company in discussions with traditional print publishers such as the New York Times (which already distributes a version of the paper for the iPhone), McGraw Hill, and Oberlin Press.

Read the Gizmodo story here.

PC Magazine's long-time commentator John C. Dvorak also posted his take on the rumoured device. He, too, thinks it is an inevitable product for Apple and one which will generate a lot of attention for "pad computers."


Friday, 02 October 2009

The Canadian Printing Industries Association has elected Dean McElhinney to be the Chairman of the Board at its annual meeting this week. McElhinney is currently the General Manager of Unicom Graphics in Calgary Alberta. He has served on the CPIA Board of Directors since 2004.

McElhinney has been in the printing industry since 1979, formerly serving with the DATA Group in Edmonton before moving to Unicom in 2000. He has also served on the Board of the Printing and Graphics Industries Association of Alberta since 2001 and as its President for four years. On the education front, he has served on the Advisory Committee of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's Journalism and Graphic Communications School.

Other elected members of the Board were:

Secretary-Treasurer Jamie Barbieri, PDI Inc
Immediate Past Chair Louise Kralka, PDI Inc.
Chairman, Government Affairs Committee Alexander (Sandy) Stephens, Informco
Director at Large Curwin Friesen, Friesens Corporation
Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Phipps Dickson Integria has purchased a ROLAND 900XXL press from manroland for its Kirkland plant. The Montreal-based printer says it expects to have the 56-inch press operational in early October.

"Our first encounter with this large format press was at several installations that we had visited in Germany and last year at drupa," says Gaetano DiTrapani, Chief Operating Officer at PDI. “We’ve also had the opportunity to view it at another printer in Canada and at manroland’s Print Technology Center in Chicago." DiTrapani also listed two reasons why PDI chose the 900XXL: "First, we believe it will more efficiently accommodate our existing work in the publishing field that is currently produced on 40-inch presses. Second, it will provide us access to a very specific market within the large format work sector."

PDI recently consolidated its plants in LaSalle and St. Laurent into one facility in Kirkland, Quebec. The 6-colour 900XXL is the PDI's first manroland purchase. Phipps Dickson and Integria merged in February 2007, forming one of the larger printers in Quebec. In December, it acquired and reopened Grafikom's Sherbrooke plant, now known as PDI-Graphica.
Monday, 21 September 2009

Stefanie Stroh from Hochschule der Medien (HdM) — Stuttgart Media University — has joined Ryerson University's Graphic Communications Management Program for a one year term.

Stroh holds a MS in packaging design and an MA in European media. She specializes in prepress and colour management in packaging applications. She will instruct students on applications such as EngView, EskoArtwork products and GMG FlexoProof.

She will be filling in for professor Chris Kular, who is on a one year sabbatical in Europe, teaching workflow automation at HdM.
Friday, 18 September 2009

Michael Makin, former President of the CPIA and current President and CEO of the PIA, has been voted in as president of the World Print & Communication Forum. He succeeds Chris Sykes, Director of the Printing Industry Federation of South Africa, who has been president since 2003.

The WPCF is the world organization of the printing industry, regrouping federations from North America, Japan, China and Hong Kong, Europe, India and South Korea. Members of the organization unanimously elected Makin for the role in their meeting in Chicago this week.

"I am deeply honoured by the confidence that is placed in me and will do my utmost to continue the work of Chris Sykes," said Makin. He will be in charge of putting a special emphasis on the exchange of economic information and best practices among federation members and to enlarge the scope of activities to focus more on specific topics of importance to the printing industry, at an international level.

Makin served as CPIA president for 10 years prior to taking his post at the Printing Industries of America in 2002. He is a graduate of Carleton University in Ottawa, where he earned a degree in journalism. He also holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

World Color Press Inc. today launched its new branding for the company, finally shedding its Quebecor World roots. The new logo, right, is the final result of Quebecor World's rebranding since the company announced its new identity at the end of July. Starting today, the company now goes by the one word name: Worldcolor.

"Today we take an important step in the marketing of our fresh start. This marks the beginning of a new era for our organization," said Mark Angelson, Chairman and CEO of Worldcolor. "Strengthened by the confidence of our loyal customers, suppliers and employees, Worldcolor is positioned to resume its leadership role in transforming our industry and to meeting the changing needs of our customers."

According to the company: "The stylized W connotes growth and progression and represents a web-press-like icon evoking our heritage and core competency. The name warrants multiple colors. The blue is part of our heritage and provides visual continuity. The green represents our commitment to sustainability. Finally the style of the logo is bold, demonstrating a solid foundation that is forward-looking and determined."

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

According to a report released today by the Royal Bank, the Canadian economy will return to growth this fall after experiencing a drastic downfall in the last three quarters.

"Improved financial markets, low borrowing rates and fiscal stimulus have moved Canada's economy forward," said Craig Wright, senior VP and Chief Economist, RBC. "We expect that Canada's recession will turn out to be the least severe of the past three, even after the consecutive hefty drops in GDP output from late 2008 and early 2009."

The projections are based on the trends in the second quarter, which saw the slowdown of the decline. Interest rates are projected to remain low for the rest of the year, with gradual increases in 2010.

A chief driver of the North American upswing will be the automotive sector, especially the increased demand due to the cash-for-clunkers program (GM Canada announced a similar clunker campaign today). The housing market is also growing due to the low interest rates. Wholesale, retail, and manufacturing sales have also seen a modest increase in June, the first rise in 10 months, according to the report. Businesses made cuts to spending plans, but also got easier access to credit.

The full RBC report can be obtained here.

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