RIT has decided to sell its largest printing press, Bill Garno, director of the Printing Applications Lab (PAL), announced Wednesday, May 2 at Reporter’s quarterly Advisory Board meeting. The sale will result in a major change in Reporter’s format and distribution.
While PAL will retain its five digital presses, the loss of its only conventional lithographic press will have a substantial impact. As a result of the decision, PAL will be laying off six of its 13 employees. It must also end several long-term business relationships established through trial work conducted for paper manufacturers.
Garno outlined options for Reporter’s future as a print publication, stating that other printing labs may be an option, but they would probably be unable to maintain the volume of magazines produced by Reporter at a rate that fits within its budget.
According to Garno, three major factors contributed to the decision. “First is the declining alignment of conventional press technologies to the curriculum, meaning diminishing support from the school," he said. Garno also cited a decline in external contract work, as well as competition for resources and space, as cause for the decision.
Without the reduced rates and donated paper from PAL, it is unlikely that Reporter will be able to sustain its usual weekly printing schedule on its current budget.
Effective immediately, Reporter will be meeting with its Advisory Board bi-weekly until the end of June. Attendees will discuss various options available and determine whether it is possible to maintain a print publication by either reducing page count or frequency of issues. Reporter is also considering becoming an online publication with only occasional print issues.
Reporter will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. Last updated May 2 at 11:43 p.m.