Bad news: I just emailed to check in with Ron, and he emailed back with, "Screener closed. Can't find any screener that meets my approval."
I called Ron to get the story. Here it is, rather interesting (please forgive any lapses/omissions - it's from memory and Ron talks fast):
Ron's screener guy at American Color Scans (ACS) kept stringing him along on the BQ job, then abruptly left ACS July 1st. ACS told Ron they can't do the job without a screener, and they are looking for a new person. But until then, they're not interested in the job. Ron's not sure they're even looking for a new screener; maybe this is how ACS quietly tiptoes away from the biz altogether..
So Ron's looking for a new screener. I asked why he needed a screener when the BQ screens are already cut, and he said they need to be recut: after 10-12 years, screens deteriorate and you get pinholes if you try printing with them.
The problem with finding a new screener is Ron has to get Gottlieb approval (Steve Young or Robert Fesjian) for both the screener and a sample backglass before Ron can begin production. But a screener/printer is going to charge a lot of $$$ to do a one-off sample, if they're even interested. Or Ron can pay to have a whole run produced and risk having Gottlieb reject them all. Either way, it's an expensive undertaking.
Ron said he'll keep me posted, and hopes a solution will turn up soon.
I also noticed an update on Ron's website: "ATTENTION: The company that was making backglasses for us has closed their doors. Therefore no product will be produced until I find a new screener that meets my standards of excellence."