News & Tech: Agfa to Raise Prices of Offset Printing Plates, Chemicals

October 18, 2021

Article by: News & Tech

Agfa to Raise Prices of Offset Printing Plates, Chemicals

For the third time in less than ten months, Agfa will raise the prices of its offset printing plates and chemicals, says the company. Raw material shortage remains an ongoing concern and the competitive environment to secure aluminum and other raw materials has accelerated the cost increase, says Agfa. Logistics and operational costs have also soared, says the company.

“Initially, we were hoping the inflationary pressure would be of a temporary nature, but the issues with global supplies of crucial raw materials have not shown any signs of stabilization. They are likely to stay at these levels in 2022. Agfa will be reviewing the need for further pricing actions on a quarterly basis,” says Frederik Dehing, VP global sales.

As used aluminum offset plates are being recycled, the price increases will to a large extent be compensated for by the increased value printers will get from their scrap aluminum. The specific, but double-digit, price increases will start Nov. 1 and will be communicated directly to Agfa customers. Agfa’s headquarters are in Mortsel, Belgium.

Money For Journalism in $3.5 Trillion Federal Spending Bill

Money for local journalism is in the $3.5 trillion federal spending bill under consideration by Congress, Poynter reports. Lawmakers have keyed in on part of the proposed Local Journalism Sustainability Act — a payroll tax credit for journalists employed by local papers, digital-only sites or broadcast outlets. The government would subsidize half of salaries up to $50,000 the first year and 30% for four following years, says Poynter.

Atlantic: Bainum Plans to Launch Baltimore Banner

Hotel mogul Stewart Bainum plans to start The Baltimore Banner, The Atlantic reports. The paper will be entirely digital, says the magazine. It will launch with a budget of $15 million, reports The Atlantic.

“There’s no industry that I can think of more integral to a working democracy than the local-news business,” Bainum, who’s chairman of Choice Hotels International, told the magazine. This year Bainum had pursued an unsuccessful bid to buy The Baltimore Sun and the other papers in Tribune Publishing’s stable.

Thomson Reuters Starting Venture Capital Fund

Thomson Reuters Corp is starting a $100 million venture capital fund, the company reports. The fund is called Thomson Reuters Ventures. It’s is part of CEO Steve Hasker’s intent to make Thomson Reuters into a “content-driven technology business.” The fund will invest primarily in earlier-stage companies via Series A and B rounds, across legal, tax and accounting, risk, fraud and compliance, news and media, corporates and adjacent areas, says a news release on the fund.

The fund will “concentrate on investments and portfolio support for companies building breakthrough innovations that will allow professionals to operate more productively and with greater insights,” says the release. Pat Wilburn, chief strategy officer at Thomson Reuters, will be the fund’s executive director.

Gannett Sells Herald-Mail Property

The Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation has bought The Herald-Mail property (Hagerstown, Maryland), the paper reported. The Maryland Stadium Authority has plans for a sports and event facility in downtown Hagerstown.

The $5 million deal went to closing on Oct. 12, said Greg Snook, president and CEO of the nonprofit foundation called CHIEF, says the paper. Gannett owns the paper and sold the property.

Herald-Mail staff is currently working remotely. The paper is looking for office space in Hagerstown, said Dawn Friedman, advertising director and site leader for The Herald-Mail, the paper said.

Ex-Morning Brew Staff Starting Beehiiv

A number of ex-Morning Brew staff members say they’ve raised money to start a new newsletter platform dubbed beehiiv, Axios reports. The move comes after Facebook and Twitter have started Substack rivals. Google may also get into the newsletter game, Axios points out.

The effort is led by former Morning Brew employees Tyler Denk, Benjamin Hargett and Jake Hurd. The funding round is led by Social Leverage, other funds and angel investors. Beehiiv intends to offer more access by November, says Axios.

DCOS Working with Engle Printing

Engle Printing Company, a family-owned company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, recently decided it was time to give its Goss Universal press a lift, says a press release from DCOS. The press is from 1998. This project includes a closed-loop density and register system for six towers that will replace the existing system.

The Z808 and PN859 ink, water and register control modules will be retrofitted and replaced by standard hardware from DCOS. Other changes will be made as well. “We have been working closely with EPC for some years now and it’s a great team to work with,” says Mattias Andersson, CEO of DCOSThe installation will start at the end of November.

Hownd, Hearst Partner

Hownd, provider of a promotional marketing platform, and Hearst Newspapers have announced a joint marketing agreement and pilot project in the Houston area that will see the two companies work together to “better serve local brick and mortar businesses,” says a press release.

Hownd helps local businesses with physical locations generate revenue from their existing customers and find new customers via its proprietary digital marketing platform. A combination of cloud software and a mobile app, Hownd connects local merchants to nearby consumers and then tracks proven consumer visits that can be directly attributed to a merchant’s advertising expenditures. The companies are targeting “Fun, Yum, and Zen” merchants that provide family entertainment, dining, and heal.


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