he PAGE Cooperative has voted to expand its membership eligibility beyond the association’s long-standing, independently owned, newspaper-only requirement to now permit newspapers of all ownership categories, as well as commercial printers, to become members of the highly respected buying cooperative.
PAGE Cooperative is recognized as one of the largest buyers of newsprint in the United States and one of the leading buying resources for print-related software, ink, printing plates, and supplies, the cooperative says. PAGE stands for “Publishers Associated to Gain Economy.”
The vote, cast by its newspaper members, was acknowledgement that the distinction between publicly and privately held newspapers is no longer relevant, according to Brandon Eyerly, PAGE Cooperative board chairman.
“Currently, PAGE counts among its members many small, single-market newspapers as well as some very large privately owned or privately financed newspaper groups. Before this action by PAGE, printing/publishing sites owned by publicly traded companies were not eligible for membership, yet other large newspaper groups with different capital structures were permitted,” Eyerly said. “The dynamics of the market and ownership structures have shifted due to merger activity. Plus, when you consider that many newspapers are outsourcing their printing, whether to another newspaper or to a commercial printer, it makes sense for many of these businesses to have the opportunity to realize the even greater economies of scale that are feasible with an association like PAGE.”