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Press problems delay Beacon delivery

The printing presses at the Beacon Journal started rolling at midnight Tuesday, right on time.

The press run took until almost 7 a.m. to complete, more than four hours late.

In between, we had problems.

The presses broke down multiple times early Wednesday morning. As a result, delivery of the Wednesday Beacon Journal was delayed.

According to Vicki Kuhns, printing production manager, here is what happened:

• The presses started on time at midnight.

• There were a series of mechanical breakdowns, starting just before 1 a.m.

• Those problems continued until 3 a.m., when a decision was made to use backup printing presses.

• At 4:25 a.m., a backup press was ready to roll.

• The backup press did not start smoothly.

• The last papers were printed at 6:47 a.m.

The papers are normally printed by 3 a.m. at the Beacon Journal.

Because the papers were so late being printed, not all of the Beacon Journals could be delivered Wednesday.

“We made every effort to get papers to people on Wednesday,” said Jim DeLuca, vice president for circulation. “Unfortunately, we will not be able to deliver some papers until Thursday morning.

“The carriers did the best they could,” DeLuca added. “But unfortunately this situation was beyond the control of the carriers.”

Readers started calling the Beacon Journal once they realized they did not have the paper. So many people called, the newspaper’s phone system was overwhelmed. That resulted in busy signals, which many readers found frustrating.

Most wanted to know where their Beacon Journal was. (One reader wanted to know the movie times so she could see a matinee Wednesday afternoon.)

In an effort to communicate the problem, a story about the problem was posted on the Beacon Journal’s website, Editors also contacted other media regarding the story.

The Beacon Journal made its replica edition of the paper available for free on Wednesday.

The mechanical problems with the presses are being addressed. Normal delivery times are anticipated for today.


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