With any investment in print production increasingly rare these days, spending by hedge fund Alden Global Capital – more often criticised as an asset stripper – is even more noteworthy.
But that’s what is happening at the Press-Enterprise print site in Riverside, California, where an elderly but pristine-looking Goss Headliner Offset line is being upgraded with a new press drive.
The Riverside site prints the Southern California News Group – owned by Alden’s Media News Group – and was already set to print the San Diego Union-Tribune before owner Patrick Soon-Shiong’s recent and much-criticised announcement that he was selling the paper to Alden, but the move was brought forward as a result.
Riverside already prints the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Daily News, the Riverside Press-Enterprise and community newspapers. And is set to print the Los Angeles Times as well, with the lease on its Olympic Boulevard printing plant (pictured below) set to expire at the end of this year.
The Southern California News Group site at Riverside – described by the LA Times as a joint venture – has been advertising for staff including press operators, reel tenders and a part time inserter.
The cosmo blue Headliner Offset, which would have been “state-of-the-art” 40 years ago, when it would have represented an investment of about US$5 million, is to get a DCOS drive control system supplied by Impressions Worldwide.
Based on non-proprietary components and incorporating EtherCAT Fieldbus design allowing automatic master drive selection and load sharing, IW says the system will provide “unparalleled press drive redundancy and uptime, assuring the implementation of future-proof design”. Headquartered in Kinna, Sweden, DCOS provides full remote support, with each press drive and master accessible remotely.
It’s an important order for both companies, and Impressions posted a photo of the press – with their Dave Gilmore and SCNG production director Greg Engler photoshopped in front of the press – on social media and in their newsletter.
Sales vice president Gilmore says Riverside is the last of the Goss double-wide presses standing in southern California: “Think about that for a minute,” he says, adding that Engler, Riverside’s Jon Merendino and the maintenance staff that moved over from Orange County “will have their hands full” when the LA Times printing moves to Riverside in 2024.
The DCOS controls will provide a superior and dependable press drive architecture with versatile functionality, he says.
Impressions delivered and installed an automated Goss Urbanite single-width, two-around press to bolster production at the Riverside site about five years ago.