News International mulls idea of printing newspapers remotely

Many newspapers have already been printed digitally across hotels in Europe and North America, in one-off formats for business people, where printing close to the point of distribution makes financial sense.

Ian McDonald, managing director of operations at News International, said that it will not be long until the same concept is used for printing daily titles in the UK.

He said: “At the moment, digital is way off the pace, but I don’t think that will be the case in five years. I am expecting to see a breakthrough in digital in the next few years.

“When I was looking to upgrade our presses there was a time when I was thinking putting a digital press in the middle of nowhere, somewhere in the very north of Scotland servicing around 5,000 newspapers, wasn’t such a silly idea.”

McDonald added that publishers like News International could team up with small printers who would print newspapers overnight and then use the presses to do commercial print work during the day.

It is also a model he can see working for the company in popular destinations for British holidaymakers.

He explained: “Somewhere like Tenerife or Majorca, we could find a jobbing printer and install a digital press there.

“It can then print things like leaflets for local companies during the day, enabling it to offer us a good price in printing the newspapers overnight.”

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