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April 17, 2021

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From the Newsroom: Newsroom welcomes new faces

By , Columbian Editor
Published:
2 Photos
The accounting department hosts an open house at The Columbian in downtown Vancouver on Tuesday afternoon, April 16, 2019.
The accounting department hosts an open house at The Columbian in downtown Vancouver on Tuesday afternoon, April 16, 2019. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Here’s a sentence I never thought I would write: Our newsroom is getting a little crowded.

Well, not like in the old days, when, like other newspapers, we employed a bunch more reporters, photographers and editors. But in an era when most newsrooms look like ghost towns, it’s a nice change to see some new faces, even when they aren’t doing news.

Let me explain what’s happening around here. As we previously shared, The Columbian has taken on the contracts to print the daily newspapers serving Tacoma and Olympia. That resulted in us buying some additional equipment to handle the pre-printed inserts that go into those papers. This new inserter is humongous and takes up a lot of floor space in the warehouse that we had used for storage.

We also need quite a bit more space to store their inserts. Those pre-printed inserts that you see from, say, Target or Fred Meyer, are produced in vast quantities by speciality printers and then trucked to newspapers, such as The Columbian, a few days before they go out to readers. On days when there are multiple inserts, we work in advance to create little bundles of inserts, called jackets, that can quickly be placed into the newspaper.

So we need a lot of indoor storage space, and we need even more now that we are printing three daily newspapers.

And here’s some fresh news: We have signed a contract to manage the pre-printed inserts for The Oregonian beginning May 15. Now that we will be doing their inserts, we are going to need even more space!

All this new work is good for our accounts, but bad for the accounting department, which was located one wall away from the warehouse. When we needed more storage space, the decision was easy: tear down the wall, turn the accounting department into storage space, and move the four-member accounting team into the newsroom.

Chief Financial Officer Brandon Zarzana moved into an office on our mezzanine that once was home to the opinion team. The others took what used to be our old photography darkroom area. We repainted, installed more lighting and cleaned the carpets, and the new office looks pretty good, if a little cozy. On Tuesday we had an open house, complete with cupcakes, to celebrate their move.

Next month, the newsroom will welcome three more new faces. For business reasons, we’ve decided to sell the building in downtown Camas that houses our sister paper, the Camas-Washougal Post-Record, and move their staff here. So we’ll be setting aside a large room in the newsroom for Editor Kelly Moyer and her two reporters, Doug Flanagan and Wayne Havrelly. (If you haven’t read them recently, check out their journalism online at www.camaspostrecord.com.)

This time, the move will displace our editorial page editor, Greg Jayne, who has been in this large room mostly by himself since his two office-mates retired more than a year ago. Greg will have to downsize into a smaller office, but he will gain a window.

Though it will mean more driving for Kelly, Doug and Wayne, the new arrangement makes sense. Since the Campbell family bought the weekly newspaper and its building in 2004, we’ve provided an increasingly wide range of services to the Post-Record’s operation, including accounting, information technology, human resources and printing. For the past several years, our copy desk has laid out the pages of their print edition, although Kelly and her team produce the content and decide where everything goes. None of that will change when they move into our newsroom, and we will continue our friendly rivalry.

I am excited about getting to know our cousins. And, as always, I am looking forward to getting some scoops on them!

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