News' Rocky print start has Chelsea up in the air

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How do you make a story about new printing and distribution arrangements look interesting? Illustrate it with a large picture of a leggy brunette, of course.

Eighteen-year-old Chelsea Hamilton is pictured halfway up a yacht's mast to illustrate the news that News Corp Australia is to print its national and metro newspapers in the "beef capital" of Rockhampton.

A print site there anchored by an Indian-made Manugraph single-width press is being called on to print local editions of The Australian and the Courier-Mail following News' $36 million acquisition of the site and other former assets of APN News & Media's Australian Regional Media.

Previously the papers had been only printed in Brisbane and Townsville, but the extra Queensland print site means what is described as a "decades-old distribution system that was one of the most complex supply chains in the country" will be simplified.

News also acquired print sites in Yandina and Warwick as part of the deal last year, but the APN logo is still in place at some of these and newspaper imprints continue to refer to APN.

Meanwhile, Hamilton - pictured checking out the view above Rosslyn Bay harbour in Yeppoon - is among those who will get printed national and state news quicker.

Peter Coleman

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