TAKING BACK CONTROL: LNP installs new press, brings production back to Lancaster County.

Author:Simpkins, Jerry

In August, I wrote an article for E&P referencing the lack of innovation in our industry. That article drew quite a bit of ire from many diehard printers. Most of the production folks that read a "production column" are printers, and most printers have had enough, hearing about the wonders of the digital world, consolidation, newspapers closing, job losses, the death spiral of print, etc. One individual even commented to me "It's the same old rhetoric."

In this day and age you really don't hear a lot of good news from printers. But we're all getting tired of hearing the woes of the industry and deserve a little positive news for once.

New equipment installations seem to be a thing of the past, and the investments that many of us made yesterday are now being cut up for scrap metal or sold to some offshore newspaper start-up. It seems we don't have a lot to celebrate and the majority of us are settling into that "same old rhetoric" and accepting that newspapers are in big trouble and the vultures are circling.

The good news is that's not the way they see it in Lancaster County, Pa. Matter of fact, Steinman Communications, the parent company of LNP Media Group, firmly believes in the power of print and is bringing its operations back to Lancaster County with a vengeance.

I recently spoke with Robert M. Krasne, chief executive officer of Steinman Communications, about the decision they made to bring printing back in-house--a decision that shows their confidence in print, the strength of newspapers and makes a strong commitment to their community.

Krasne appeared before a crowd of business and community leaders as well as the governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at an event held to commemorate LNP's 225th anniversary this past June. Krasne made several announcements that were significant to LNP and the community; however, the one that generated the most buzz was the return of printing to Lancaster County.

Let's go back four years to 2015 and retrace the path that brought LNP to this milestone decision. I asked Krasne why Steinman Communications shifted production from downtown Lancaster to an outside printer in the first place.

He said, "LNP was printed on a manroland Flexoman that was no longer supported by the manufacturer. Many of the supplies could only be obtained from single sources and some were overseas, which created significant additional transportation costs. It was not financially or practically sustainable. We considered expanding our sister operation in Ephrata (a borough in Lancaster County), constructing a new facility, or outsourcing and determined that the most cost-effective path was to outsource."

From my personal perspective, I can certainly understand this business decision. Many of us...

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