April 15, 2013
Take a look at Pikes Peak at the top of the page. The colors are crisper and brighter. So are the words you are reading right now.
Monday night, The Gazette began printing its newspapers at The Denver Post’s state-of-the-art plant in Denver, which also prints The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and almost every local paper on the Front Range.
“If it’s good enough for The New York Times, it’s good enough for us,” said Gazette Editor Joe Hight on a recent tour of the facility, where sparkling clean presses, four stories high and battleship gray, can pump out more than 100,000 copies per hour with laser precision.
Gazette Publisher Dan Steever said the move “prepares The Gazette for the future.”
“It gives us more flexibility in what we can print — more inside color, more special sections — but it also allows us to devote more resources to developing other assets.”
The Gazette will launch a redesigned gazette.com May 1, he said, “and that’s just the start of our digital build-out. It’s part of our plan as a news organization to thrive, not just survive.”
The Gazette’s presses were 33 years old. Up until they stopped running Sunday night, Gazette employees shoved around massive rolls of paper by hand, and ink-stained pressmen tuned the press manually. In the new plant, robotic forklifts glide along carrying one-ton paper rolls, and pressmen sit in brightly-lit, glassed-in control rooms that look a bit like NASA mission control. There doesn’t seem to be a spot of ink on them.
The presses in Denver go through about 400 miles of paper a week, which arrives on its own rail spur. Printing The Gazette on the $120 million presses means better color, crisper print, and more color on inside pages.
The papers will be trucked to Colorado Springs for distribution. Delivery times won’t change.
When it snows, The Denver Post’s trucking fleet is prepared with chains and automatic sanders.
“We’ve been delivering all over the state for years,” said Brent Griebling, the plant’s director of operations. “I don’t think it will be a problem.”
Contact Dave Philipps