Stop the Press! Drum now printing in Phoenix 

In addition to The Arizona Republic’s print edition, the Phoenix plant also prints USA Today, The Desert Sun from Palm Springs, The New York Times, Arizona Daily Star from Tucson, Arizona Daily Sun from Flagstaff, and many other publications that are distributed throughout Arizona and into New Mexico and California, according to an article by Corina Vanek, Arizona Republic.
The Phoenix printing facility, owned and operated by Gannett Co., Inc. offers a modernized printing process.
The Southern Ute Drum began printing with the Arizona Republic in December of 2022, following the closure of the Farmington Daily Times printing press.
Courtesy Jon Gandolf | Arizona Republic
Courtesy Jon Gandolf | Arizona Republic
Courtesy Jon Gandolf | Arizona Republic

Farmington Daily Times shutters regional printing press   

The Southern Ute Drum newspaper probably felt a bit thicker when you picked it up last week. You may have also noticed subtle improvements to the print quality of the newspaper, perhaps the colors popped a bit more, or the photographs seemed a bit crisper. This is a result of our new printing process. We upgraded our paper stock and switched to a new printing press at the end of 2022, when the Southern Ute Drum began printing with the Arizona Republic, which boasts a larger, more modern printing press in Phoenix, Ariz.  

This move coincided with the closure of the Farmington Daily Times’ Printing Press in Farmington, N.M. — both facilities are owned and operated by Gannett Co., Inc. The Farmington press rolled out its final newspaper Dec. 5, 2022, with the Southern Ute Drum’s last Farmington print run just a few days prior.  

Other regional publications effected by the Farmington Daily Times press closure include the Durango Herald, Durango Telegraph, Cortez Journal, and Gallup Independent. While the Ballantine publications (Durango Herald, Cortez Journal) moved their printing to Santa Fe, N.M., the Drum opted to continue printing with Gannett at the Arizona Republic.  

This is not the first time the Drum has opted to change printers, or even been forced to move its print operation. In May of 2012, the Southern Ute Drum moved printing operations from The Farmington Daily Times to print in Cortez, Colo. under Ballantine Communications. The new agreement with Four Corners Printing ushered in an era of full color printing for The Southern Ute Drum, but that relationship was short lived. In 2015 Four Corners Printing shut its doors. Its parent company, Ballantine Communications entered into a deal with The Farmington Daily Times to print all of its publications, the Drum followed suit. Which brings us back to present. 

The Farmington Daily Times currently operates under Gannett and has since moved its printing operation to the Arizona Republic in Phoenix. Gannett is an American mass media holding company headquartered Virginia. Gannett owns the USA Today, as well as dozens of local newspapers across numerous states. In 2019, GateHouse Media merged with Gannett, creating the largest newspaper publisher in the United States, which adopted the Gannett name. Gannett acquired the Farmington Daily Times in 2015 from Digital First Media. 

This unexpected change to our back-end operations will have no impact to our readers and the Southern Ute Drum will continue to publish very other Friday on our normal Bi-weekly schedule. The benefits to our readers will be improved quality from the higher-grade paper stock and modernized printing facility.  

The typical printing process for a newspaper run begins with the electronic transfer of information from digital files to the plate burner. The pages are transferred to plate via a Computer To Plate (CTP) image processing machine onto a thin metal plate by laser. The plates are then mounted to the print press rollers where they transfer the images to paper by picking up the different colors of ink, a four-color CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) process is used. The paper is fed into the “web” and through a series of ink rollers at high speed. The stock paper is pulled from large spools measuring over four feet in diameter. The rollers will lay down black ink or color depending on the specific requirements of each page as needed. 

During this rapid process, the press technicians are kept busy checking the ink flow, print registration, and overall print quality. The final product is visually inspected as it rolls off the conveyer belt, where the newspapers are finally stacked and bound for shipment.  

The older offset printing press operations are run manually, whereas newer facilities and equipment have automated much of the print process. The results are more consistent and generally produce higher quality print results. 

The Southern Ute Drum is available for pick up on newsstands at a variety of locations in Ignacio, Bayfield and Durango. Annual newspaper subscriptions are also available at a rate of $29 per year, or $49 for two years. Southern Ute tribal members are eligible for a free subscription by mail. Contact Southern Ute Drum Administrative Assistant, Krista Richards for more information or to purchase a subscription, 970-563-2251 or by email at The Southern Ute Drum is available online as an e-Edition: free digital downloads can be found at  

Like it? Share it!