State Business Briefs: Quad Graphics shrugs off loss of Newsweek printingWisconsin Business
-- Wisconsin’s largest commercial printer says the financial impact will be “negligible” when it stops printing Newsweek magazine at the end of the year.
SUSSEX - Wisconsin’s largest commercial printer says the financial impact will be “negligible” when it stops printing Newsweek magazine at the end of the year.
Newsweek – an American institution for 80 years – said yesterday it would stop printing magazines, and publish solely in electronic formats like the Internet and tablets. Quad-Graphics has printed Newsweek for almost 35 years. But Quad spokeswoman Claire Ho says the magazine has struggled and reduced its print counts for a long time. She said her company’s work for Newsweek is quote, “insignificant to our overall business.” And Ho said no jobs would be cut at Quad-Graphics as a result of the move. Ho added that Quad is quote, “sad to see this venerable newsweekly end its print edition.” She said the company’s Hartford plant prints Newsweek – and it’s also printed at Quad plants in Merced, California and Saratoga Springs, New York. But not all magazines are going the way of Newsweek. Just a few weeks ago, Quad announced a $900-million long-term agreement with Time Incorporated to handle 85-percent of its total printing for 19 publications.
A customer service provider in Neenah has added about 570 jobs this year – and another 130-plus jobs will be created by the start of the New Year. Governor Scott Walker helped Alta Resources highlight its growth during a ceremony this week. The firm provides customer service for other businesses – and it has doubled its workforce since 2007. Walker’s office said about 600 of the new jobs were created with the help of state tax credits. The company said the tax break was around a million-dollars. And as part of that deal, Alta promised to invest another million dollars in its facility.
A proposed electric transmission line in far eastern Wisconsin would cost $193-million to $262-million, depending on the route that’s chosen. The American Transmission Company has asked for the state’s approval to build the line. The firm says it’s needed to handle the production of more electricity at the Point Beach nuclear plant at Two Rivers. The plant started making the extra power in 2011. It’s being sold to WPPI, a group of municipal utilities around the state, and the Missouri River Energy Services’ utility in South Dakota. Right now, the transmission firm says Point Beach has to operate at less than full power on occasion. The firm says the power grid in the region is not always stable. If the Public Service Commission approves the line, construction would start in 2015 – and it would be finished in 2018. Plans call for the line to run through parts of Manitowoc, Sheboygan, and Calumet counties.
Wisconsin’s largest home-owned bank says it will close another 12 branches early next year. Associated Bank says each facility is located within two miles of another – and customer traffic at the branches has been declining as more people bank electronically. Ten of the branches are in Wisconsin – Sheboygan South, Oshkosh West, Wausau Rivers Edge, Appleton College Avenue, Eau Claire Southtowne, Hudson County Market, Manitowoc Harbortown, the Ledgeview branch at De Pere, Hammond, and Saukville. The other two Associated branches to close are in Illinois at Lindenhurst and Peoria. The closings are expected early next year. And then Associated – which is based in Green Bay – will have about 170 branches throughout its home state of Wisconsin.