Small presses looking for a place as publishers go back to the future

Small newspapers changing hands has seen demand for as well as the availability of some classic smaller press designs.

In vogue in the 1970s, the Goss Urbanite gained a new lease of life at the core of installations such as the 100-unit FlexPress delivered by Pressline Services for the Boston Globe in 2016.

Around the same time, Lee Enterprises replaced a Motter flexo press with a refurbished ten-unit Urbanite line, following an earlier rebuild of a smilar seven-unit press.

COVID-19 has hastened transitions all over the US, but while installations such as that in Boston's Taunton are unlikely, Urbanites and presses of a similar vintage continue to change hands.

Burlington, Washington press specialist ImPressions Worldwide is currently removing a seven-unit Urbanite (top) from a site in in Pennsylvania, and has just learned of an established customer looking to sell their six-unit Harris V-25 (below). The one-around press has Martin splicers and JF25 and ATF folders.

In Australia, HilcoGlobal has single-width Manugraph lines for sale, displaced from News Corp sites in Queensland.

We'll be watching what the future holds for these lines and others like them, as old business models disappear for regional publishers and new ones emerge.

Peter Coleman

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