At year’s end, Bruce Richardson, industry veteran of Koenig & Bauer (U.S.), will retire as national sales manager for web presses after more than three decades in the newspaper press market. Richardson has witnessed many changes in the industry, been the point person for industry-first installations, and leaves the industry seeing positive new technology for the future.
N&T: What changes have you seen in the industry during your tenure?
Richardson: It’s hard to believe today but the switch from all black-and-white to color newspapers in the 1980s was a huge change. Also, newspaper diversification into printing new commercial applications, page downsizing savings on paper costs, digitalization, which gave newspapers the ability to react more quickly to breaking news, and more advertiser-driven custom sections of the paper.
N&T: What are some of your biggest highlights over those 30+ years?
Richardson: I’m pleased to have worked in a well-established, international, family-owned business at Koenig & Bauer, which placed such a high focus on the newspaper industry. During my tenure at Koenig & Bauer, I was the point person among a sales team that generated $350 million. Some of my notable accomplishments were the sale of two ColorMax presses to the Raleigh News & Observer, the first standard Colora to a publisher in Fayetteville, the first Comet 2 x 2 press, the one and only Continent 2 x 1 semicommercial web press at rotary offset press in Seattle, the first Commander CT press at the New York Daily News, and the first Commander CL to the Times Union in Albany, New York.
N&T: Why is the newspaper industry important?
Richardson: I’ve always felt that newspapers are vitally important for our democracy. It’s known as the fourth estate for good reason. They are a guardian of our Constitution and expose violations. Even though everyone can get their news digitally, it’s tough to redact what someone has said in print. Printed newspapers are important.
N&T: In your opinion, what new technology promises to make the biggest advancement for print?
Richardson: Working for Koenig & Bauer, I’m partial to our RotaJET digital press. I’m excited about it and its influence on the printing industry. I feel it will have an increasing role in printing and provide printers and publishers with shorter run lengths, faster turnaround, and even greater efficiencies. I enjoyed being part of the development of the RotaJET, establishing its platform in the U.S., and seeing some of the first orders coming to fruition here in the U.S.
N&T: What do you plan to do when you retire?
Richardson: I’ll have more time for my hobbies, such as astronomy, and I plan to volunteer at our local library. But I’ll be keeping up with the industry; I hope to work as a consultant, and I plan to attend the America East trade show in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which is close to my home in York. Or you might find me in my favorite chair reading my local newspaper!