The Globe and Mail and Transcontinental have signed a $1.7 billion, 18-year deal for the Montreal-based printer to print the newspaper everywhere but the prairies.
The highlight of the deal (from the Globe press release) is a promise from Transcon to buy new presses capable of printing full-colour on all pages. Currently newspapers have to budget which pages get colour and which stay black, mainly because colour is a four-plate process (CMYK) and black requires only one plate and one colour ink. (The change will also mean a shorter paper and another redesign)
That sounds pretty cool. But spending $200 million on new presses to satisfy an 18-year deal (2010-2028) when we’re not even sure that newspapers are going to last that long?
Like the New York Times and other larger papers, the Globe will probably weather the crisis a bit longer than most (the fact that it hasn’t drastically cut the number of journalists recently certainly helps). But 20 years is a long time in the future, especially when you consider where we were 20 years ago. In 1988, newspaper staffs were at their peak, television production values practically nonexistent, and nobody knew what the Internet was.