Quartz laid off 7

Quartz laid off seven employees in late June, Digiday reported.

The layoffs fell on the business side of the company.

Quartz has laid off 25, around 10 percent of the staff, over the last year, according to Digiday.

Quartz has also done some hiring in the last year, putting its staff at around 235, down from 243 in the beginning of the year, a Quartz spokesperson said, Digiday reported.

Quartz is centering on paid subscriptions, according to Digiday.

Quartz, started in 2012, was founded “to serve a new kind of business leader with bracingly creative and intelligent journalism that’s built for users first,” according to its website.

Agfa sells Duratex Media business to Grimco

Agfa Corporation has sold its Duratex Media business of wide and grand format substrates to Grimco, a national supplier of wholesale sign supplies, substrates and sign printing equipment.

In addition, Grimco is acquiring Agfa's business relating to the purchase and resale of certain third-party manufactured wide-format products such as flexible, rigid and aqueous substrates, and certain HP and Epson manufactured printing equipment, inks and related service and maintenance activities.

Since its acquisition of Pitman nearly 10 years ago, Agfa has grown the Duratex brand, the company says.

“Selling media has been a successful part of our digital print business, but we believe it is better positioned with a company whose total focus is distribution to propel it to the next level of growth,” said Gunther Mertens, president, Agfa North America. Agfa is headquartered in Belgium.

Agfa and Grimco have also entered into an agreement for Grimco to become a nation-wide authorized reseller in the United States of Agfa's Anapurna inkjet printer portfolio.

World Table, LaterPay expand partnership

World Table, an online public engagement platform for the world of journalism, and LaterPay, which offers users immediate access to content or services without requiring upfront registration or payment, are expanding their partnership to “help publications build, manage and serve their communities, converting users into subscribed readers,” a release from the companies said.

The two have teamed together to help publishers use the World Table platform to collect subscriptions and revenue in new channels, the release says.

LaterPay owns patented technology for enabling micropayments without upfront registration, facilitated by the “use now, pay later” approach. This allows users to consume paid content and services on the internet with one or two clicks — without prior registration or having to pay in advance. It is only when the online tab’s $5 limit is reached that users are prompted to register and pay.

World Table offers a suite of audience engagement tools, including an online commenting system and moderation system. Its tools are fully integrated with TownNews’ BLOX CMS, World Table says.

Quad, LSC cancel merger

Quad/Graphics and LSC Communications have mutually agreed to terminate their merger agreement, under which Quad would have acquired LSC, Quad announced on July 23.

The all-stock transaction was announced on Oct. 31, 2018, and was approved by shareholders of both companies on Feb. 22, 2019.

In June, the U.S. Department of Justice sued to block the acquisition, and in July the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois set a litigation schedule that includes a trial that would start in mid-November at the earliest and that would not result in a decision on the merits until 2020.

The parties have determined that the added delay, uncertainty and cost of legal challenges would have likely eroded expected benefits of the merger, Quad said in a news release.

As required by the merger agreement, Quad will pay LSC a reverse termination fee of $45 million.

“We are disappointed by the Justice Department’s decision to sue to block the transaction and believe that the lawsuit does not reflect the dynamics of print today and the competitive effect of digital media," said Joel Quadracci, Quad chairman, in the release. “However, rather than devote time and resources to prolonged litigation, we are choosing to focus on ensuring that our clients benefit from our Quad 3.0 growth strategy through exciting innovations in printing and integrated multichannel marketing solutions that reduce complexity, increase efficiencies and enhance marketing spend effectiveness,” he said.

TownNews, Stringr partner to provide video for local news outlets

TownNews and Stringr have announced a partnership that will enable clients using TownNews’ content management systems to expand their video inventories with high-resolution prepackaged videos from Stringr’s video marketplace, according to a TownNews news release.

As part of the partnership, TownNews will add new functionality to its CMS platforms that allows users to access Stringr video, which is powered by the company’s network of 

more than 90,000 amateur and professional videographers. Completed videos can be searched within TownNews platforms and pushed directly to client websites.

Stringr will also provide participating TownNews clients with access to Stringr’s video archive of more than 250,000 assets. The content will be searchable directly within the CMS interface.

Stringr is based in New York and was founded in 2014 by Lindsay Stewart and Brian McNeill, who met at The Wharton School.

Kriechbaum takes over for Wassermann as manroland Goss CEO

Manroland Goss Group CEO Alexander Wassermann is taking up a career outside the printing industry, the company announced. The move is part of a scheduled leadership change.

Franz Kriechbaum has been appointed new CEO by the shareholders L. Possehl and American Industrial Partners (AIP). Kriechbaum served as chief operating officer of the manroland Goss Group since 2017.

“Together with the manroland Goss management team, (Kriechbaum) will continue to drive the company’s established and successful strategy as a reliable, stable and highly customer-oriented solutions partner for all webfed offset printers,” said a company press release.

“Company, shareholders and employees are very thankful for the accomplishments of Alexander Wassermann,” said the release from the company, which has headquarters in Augsburg, Germany.

The move comes about a year after the merger of manroland web systems and Goss International. The newly formed company has completed its post-merger-integration phase, the company says.

Seaton Publishing goes live with Brainworks

The Seaton Publishing Company has gone live with Brainworks advertising, finance, CRM, pagination and Xpance publishing solutions, according to Brainworks.

The go-live includes the following publications: The Manhattan Mercury, Junction City Union, 1st Infantry Division Post and the Wamego Smoke Signal/The Times, along with their respective web sites.

“We are delighted to work with such an innovative media company. I’m confident that our full suite of integrated media software solutions will provide Seaton with the comprehensive functionality they require to execute their strategic goals for all of their print, digital and broadcast properties,” said Mary Parker, director of strategic sales for Brainworks.

The Seaton Publishing Company is a fourth-generation family-owned company based in Manhattan, Kansas.

Brainworks Software has been installed at more than 1,000 publications over the past three decades, according to the company. Brainworks has offices in Sayville, New York, Wichita, Kansas, and Belleville, Canada.

Grafschafter Nachrichten invests in modern controls for Geoman Press

In the near future, print jobs at Grafschafter Nachrichten in Nordhorn, Germany, will be controlled via a ControlCenter from manroland Goss web systems.

The ControlCenter interface has been implemented on the existing control consoles, meaning that the existing Pecom console, including the embedded keyboards, remains in place. A central touch-screen-based ControlPad complements the control system.

IDCµ, an ink and dampening solution control system, is also in operation in Nordhorn. Ink control can be left completely up to the IDCµ module, according to manroland Goss web systems.

Quad closing Michigan facility

Quad/Graphics announced that it is closing a facility in Midland, Michigan. Some 300 people will lose jobs in the closure, according to WNEM TV5.

The facility will be shuttered around Sept, 10, the station reported.

“The decision is part of the company’s ongoing strategy to streamline operations and create efficiencies across its U.S. manufacturing platform and help print remain an economically feasible alternative to digital channels,” read a Quad statement, the station said. “The decision in no way reflects the quality and performance of employees in the plant, all of whom have worked hard to make the plant succeed. Given the continued migration of advertising dollars to digital channels, Quad and the printing industry must continue to take steps to align declining volume with capacity.”

Sussex-Wisconsin based Quad has 48 other plants in the country, and the work from the Midland plant will go to other locations, the station says.

Quad says it intends to aid workers find other employment. The company scheduled a career fair the week of July 22, the station said.

The plant in Midland produces special interest publications.

Quad says it will put the facility on the market for sale, the station reported.

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