Grup Serra chairman Pere A Serra described the opening of the new printing press as the most important event in the 110 year history of Ultima Hora and of the Grup Serra, which was founded 12 years ago. It was also the most important event of the Majorca Daily Bulletin, which is part of the Grup Serra and was founded in 1962. For the Bulletin started with a flatbed press and linotype machines and now uses the latest computer technology and the new Köening & Bauer Comet press unveiled yesterday, which can print 35'000 copies an hour. The Bulletin was founded by Pere A Serra in 1962, however, the first edition did not appear on January 1 of that year but December 31, 1961, an emblematic date on the island, as it is the anniversary of the triumphant entry into Palma of King Jaume I after conquering the island from the Moors in 1229. The first edition of the Bulletin appeared just three weeks after receiving its licences from the then minister of information and tourism Manuel Fraga Iribarne. It was quite an event as it was the first permit granted to a daily paper after the Spanish Civil War, with the exception of the sports paper Marca. Its predecessors were The Palma Post and the Majorca Sun, which disappeared during the Spanish Civil War. Right from the start, the Bulletin offered its readers articles on Majorcan history and way of life as well as local and international news, with the emphasis on British affairs. The international news came direct from Reuters, and, remarkable for that time, it was received uncensored. From 1962 to 1992, the Bulletin was in the Calle San Feliu where, in 1950, Sr Serra had founded the Atlante publishing company. Gradually the linotypes and flatbed press gave way to more modern equipment. Its new rotary press was unveiled by Fraga Iribarne, who years earlier had said of the Bulletin “the British would appreciate being welcomed at the airport with a newspaper in their own language rather than with a bouquet of flowers.” The new premises opened by the King yesterday have a small museum housing a linotype, samples of the old printing blocks and a copy of the first edition of Ultima Hora, among other objects. While still at the Sant Feliu premises, the Bulletin was joined in 1971 by the German weekly Mallorca Magazin, and the following year by the Majorcan weekly paper Soller. Then, in 1974, Pere Serra purchased the majority block of shares in Ultima Hora and took over the management. In 1984, he purchased the paper Baleares, which was then printed in Spanish and in 1996, converted it into Diari de Balears, the only paper in the Balearics printed entirely in Catalan. Up to the mid-1980s, the printing press was in the Group's Paseo Mallorca headquarters, but in 1985 it was moved to the Son Castelló industrial estate. The weekly advertising paper Venta y Cambio joined the group in 1988, the same year the publication of the Gran Enciclopedia de Mallorca started. Published in the form of weekly supplements, this was a major editorial feat, an encyclopedia in Catalan, dealing with Majorca and its history. The regional programmes of Antena 3 Television started from Palma in 1991 and Ultima Hora Radio started in 1994. Two years later the group purchased Canal 37 and launched TeleNova-Canal 37, now M7 Televisió de Mallorca. Diari de Balears was the first of the group to go digital in 1998, followed later that same year by Ultima Hora and in 1999 by the Bulletin and in 2000 by Mallorca Magazine.The Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera editions of Ultima Hora are also online. A new radio station, Som Radio started in 2000, the same year that Flaix FM joined the group. And that, briefly, is the history of the Grup Serra up to yesterday's opening of the new printing plant in Son Valentí, marking the start of a new and exciting era.

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