Newspaper-focused white paper has execs buzzing

Apr 12, 2017

By Bill Ostendorf
President | Creative Circle Media Solutions

With print revenue and cost savings the hot topics reverberating through event sessions and attendee conversations across the 2017 Mega-Conference hall at the Marriott Orlando World Trade Center in late February, the timing and reception for a new white paper, “25 MORE Ways to Improve Your Print Products in 2017” was spot on. The conference is sponsored each year by several major national/regional newspaper/publishing associations.

Published by Creative Circle Media Solutions, in collaboration with other Southern Lithoplate Strategic Alliance partners, MW Stange LLC and Presteligence, the new white paper was developed specifically for newspaper publishing and production management. The quest by conference attendees for more information on revenue-creating and cost-savings ideas was front and center. Publishers readily acknowledge that print is still the main driver of a newspaper’s revenues while also proportionately responsible for the significant share of the costs.

That’s why newspaper management are looking for opportunities to optimize print revenues, fully understanding too, that their operations may not be creating, manufacturing and delivering the print product as efficiently and effectively as they might.

The white paper is the SLP’s Alliance team’s contribution to the conversation about how newspapers can make more money with print and spend less doing it. The 48-page document is actually a colorful, casually worded collection of short and sharply-written articles with suggestions, tips, recommendations and thought-provoking ideas for newspapers.

Southern Lithoplate senior vice president, Steve Mattingly, said, “Our research has confirmed, that publishers want more info to help them develop creative strategies and plans to generate new print revenue streams plus learn where they can cut costs or change procedures to help achieve higher margins and profits. This white paper is an excellent resource for that.” Some ideas from the white paper are included below.


Press Test—By Creative Circle
Media Solutions

When was the last time you ran a real press test?

It should be a regular occurrence. It can improve not only the quality of your printing but also open up opportunities to discuss quality control, design, color selection, typography and more. Basically, a whole bunch of things we almost never discuss or pay attention to.

Things change in production environments—new plates, processors, staffers, or inks can have a dramatic impact on reproduction. By running regular press tests, you can see the impact of some of these kinds of changes and correct for them.

Include a grid for the range of colors you commonly use at varying densities and screens.

Include gray scale screens to show what a 10 percent black and an 80 percent black look like on your press.

This will allow you to show advertisers and designers what screens and colors work best and to develop better standards for both news and advertising.

Experiment with some of your smaller type elements: body type, agate, type used for graphics or captions. Try these elements a bit larger or set differently or in different fonts to see if they can be improved.


Ink Waste—By Presteligence

One way to keep print costs down is using technology to minimize ink consumption.

Ink optimization software and ink presetting are two solutions that can make that happen—drastically saving time and decreasing consumable costs (paper and ink) behind the scenes.

Ink optimization software lets you achieve significant ink savings by replacing the grey component of cyan, magenta, and yellow with equivalent amounts of black. When looking at such systems, here are some buying tips:

Software should be independent of prepress workflow and be able to integrate with any prepress system.

Ask vendors for trial period to ensure you are seeing a savings in ink costs.

Software should improve quality of printed products.

Be cognizant of ongoing support fees or use SAAS model if available.

Ink presetting software automatically calculates ink density values. It saves time and money that is normally wasted at the start of each press run, waiting for a quality page to print. It utilizes the same data to make plates. When looking at such systems, here are some buying tips:

Software should be independent of workflow and be able to integrate with any prepress system. A good system will allow you to send ink values directly to the press so there’s no human intervention.

The white paper is available as a full color PDF that can be downloaded at


Bill Ostendorf is president and founder of Creative Circle Media Solutions, for the SLP Print Solutions Team. He can be reached at