Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A sad day

The Staunton News Leader has announced it will no longer print its paper in Staunton, but use the press in Harrisonburg instead. So now, the Waynesboro paper is printed in Lynchburg, the Charlottesville paper is printed in Richmond and Staunton will be done in Harrisonburg.
The newspaper presses are the coolest things. It's what makes a newspaper a newspaper to me. But I guess if they usually run just two hours a night for a nightly press run, sharing a press makes sense. (I know there's maintenance and setup time, but the basic job is pretty quick).
When I started working at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, once a week we had to wait for the press to roll to check on the finished product. About 30 minutes after the last page left the newsroom, you'd hear the warning noises as the press warmed up to run.
We'd get a pile of fresh papers brought to the newsroom, and we'd look at the headlines and ads to make sure there were no major mistakes. Something the L.A. Times could have done recently.
Then it was time to go home, carrying a fresh newspaper that would still be considered fresh seven hours later when the town woke up for the day.

1 comment:

Lynn R. Mitchell said...

I agree about the presses. I grew up in Chesterfield outside Richmond. As a kid, we would go downtown where the Richmond Times-Dispatch press had huge windows onto the sidewalk and you could stand and watch the presses roll, or see it while driving by on the street. But, better still, would be a field trip inside to hear the noise and smell the ink.

I was at the RTD Correspondent of the Day Lunch a few years ago at their new facility and enjoyed a tour to see all the updated printing press technology. However, all does not change ... the noise and ink smell was still there. :)