With an editorial formula that is unique in the area, Apex Press and Publishing in Oman has recently purchased a Goss Community SSC press in order to take control of the quality and deadlines for its recently launched Muscat Daily. The Muscat Daily differs from many competitive titles due to its broad appeal and total focus on local news.
Most of our competitors focus on the Asian sub-continent, often using reconstituted news from the Internet. But our approach is to cater to a reader profile that is essentially multicultural but with the limitation that, for us, local news is king," comments Saleh Zakwani, chairman.
Apex Press and Publishing has been operating in the Sultanate of Oman since 1980. Today it employs 135 staff and publishes, but does not print, a range of key titles for the area including Muscat Daily, The Week, Alisbou'a, Business Today, Oman Today, Usrat Al Youm and a local business directory. Print runs vary from 11,000 to 80,000 copies with frequencies from daily to monthly.
With this complexity of titles, using contract printers has become an increasing problem as the company expands. „We have grown significantly over the past few years," states Mohana Prabhakar, chief executive and managing editor. „We are now suffering greatly from the constraints of not having our own press. We also have many plans for the future, and owning a press is seen as a critical success factor."
The new Goss Community press will have four, four-color towers, one of which will be dedicated to heatset pages for high-quality advertising and cover sections. Rated at 35,000 copies per hour, the new press will initially go into production in June 2010 to print The Muscat Daily, which is published in English, and two weekly publications, The Week and Al Isbou'a.
„We wanted a press that has a good reputation for efficiency and quality," states Prabhakar. „Price is always an issue of course, but we did a lot of research to estimate the size of the market and the ROI we could expect, given our end goal for the highest sustained production quality. The Community press, along with the back-up and support available from Goss International, convinced us that this was the direction to take.
„We will slowly migrate more work onto the Community press as we grow in confidence with its operation - the press model has been around a long time, but the features are reassuringly sophisticated."
Only time will tell how much work the Goss Community can handle, but Apex Press and Publishing is keen to expand on its current titles if the opportunity arises. Said Prabhakar, „We also intend to take on any commercial jobs that the market has to offer and will aggressively pursue the same."