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This column was prepared for the March 24, 2006 issue of U.S. 1

Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Downturn’s Silver Lining

When newspaper circulation drops, Joe Colletti, president of Ferag

Americas, spies a silver lining. Based since last year at Crossroads

Corporate Center, he sells $25 million printing press systems. It

seems that when newspapers consolidate their printing operations, he

can sell new equipment that takes up less space and prints papers more

quickly.

"Planned consolidations create opportunities for our sales

organization," says Colletti. "Publishers need to get more production

out of the same space." Recently he and his 13-person office sold two

systems to a Toronto-based publisher and one to North Jersey Media

Group in Rockaway. The Star Ledger and the New York Daily News are

among his clients for inserting machinery, and Dow Jones uses his

firm’s labeling and conveyor equipment.

Colletti’s 10-person office is the North American sales and service

organization for Ferag-America’s Swiss parent, WRH Marketing (Walter

Reist Holding AG). He claims his Swiss-made equipment is the fastest

in the industry, and it can zone down to a personal level. "If the

publisher knows your shopping habits, it can put unique inserts into

your paper. Our inserting equipment can handle that."

Swiss manufacturers dominate the printing press market in the United

States, but it wasn’t always that way. Until about 20 years ago, New

Hampshire-based Goss had the corner on the market. "They got too big

and too expensive, and that opened the door to European competition,"

says Colletti. Now companies in Germany and Switzerland control 90

percent of the U.S. market. Colletti’s main competition comes from GMA

in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which also has a Swiss parent.

A graduate of La Salle University, Colletti and his wife have

preschool twins and a six-year-old daughter. He had worked for FMC’s

material handling system firm in Chalfonte, Pennsylvania, and came to

Ferag-America eight years ago, when the firm had a 100-worker factory

in Bristol, Pennsylvania. Three years ago he had to restructure the

company and close the factory because it was competing with the Swiss

parent. He moved the sales operation to Princeton last year.

"Certainly newspapers are going down in circulation," says Colletti.

"As an industry we need to make advertisers happy and customers happy.

We need to change newspapers so they have more local news."

WRH Marketing/Ferag Americas, 3150 Brunswick Pike, Crossroads

Corporate Center, Suite 220, Lawrenceville 08648; 856-842-0600; fax,

856-842-0989. Joe Colletti, president. Home page:

www.ferag-americas.com.


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