What happened to Sunday’s paper

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 9, 2004

If you did not receive your Sunday News-Herald at your accustomed time, don’t feel left out.

No, we liberal media types did not pack it in after John Kerry lost and leave town, as I’m sure some like the letter writer above or columnist Robert Pocklington probably assumed.

It was a printing issue.

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Our Sunday paper is normally printed by about 7 p.m. on Saturday. It was close to 11 p.m. when I got a call from our production facility in Ahoskie, N.C. telling me it looked like it wasn’t going to happen for us. An electrical problem had rendered our press useless.

Such work requires an electrician with some specific skills. We had called one from Richmond who came down to work on it in the early hours of Sunday. After several hours, he determined that it was a part that had gone bed, one, of course, that you cannot find locally so it appeared it would be Monday sometime at the earliest before the machinery was up and running.

In the meantime, we still had a Sunday paper to get published. I came to the office and started working the phones, finally hooking up with Ronnie Bell, publisher of The Daily Herald in Roanoke Rapids. Ronnie was kind enough to help, and even though his plant was closed, he was able to locate his head pressman who agreed to come in and print our paper.

Jeff Findley, the publisher of the News-Herald in Ahoskie, took our pages to Roanoke Rapids, waited on them to be printed and then drove them back to Ahoskie to be inserted. I appreciate both Jeff and Ronnie’s efforts on our behalf.

So our papers were finally completed late Sunday night. Half the battle was over. Next came getting them distributed. We don’t have a Monday paper so it’s a day our carriers have off. We did our best to contact them and let them know what was going on , but there were many we were unable to reach, though I believe we did get most of the papers delivered by Monday.

I spent about an hour and a half Sunday afternoon returning phone calls to readers who had filled my voice mail wondering what happened to the paper. It wasn’t much, but at least I felt like I was doing something.

Most folks were understanding and pleasant and I appreciate your patience. Anyway, that’s my story. Our apologies for the inconvenience and frustration.

– Andy Prutsok, publisher