Our copy editors put together the Life section that Friday afternoon, and then we repeated the process Monday afternoon for the A and C sections, with the local A1 centerpiece due at 10 a.m.
Meanwhile, the sports department produced its pages featuring all-region teams from the fall sports season. Because Greg Jayne was on vacation, I put together a Thursday editorial page.
It’s worth mentioning we had to pay special attention to the content. We couldn’t use any stories with breaking or developing news, or else the follow-up story in the Wednesday paper would be newer than the Thursday news. I also didn’t want any bad news or overly political stories on the Thanksgiving Day front page.
Around 10 o’clock Tuesday morning, several of us walked back to the pressroom to watch the press start on the A and C sections. Even after 40 years in the news business I still enjoy it. When everything is ready to go, a warning buzzer makes a ragged noise, and red lights flash on each of the press units. There’s a click, and the web of paper that is wound through the gigantic machine starts to move ever so slowly.
The hum picks up, and suddenly the first smudges of ink appear on the web of clean newsprint. As the press begins to whir, the ink smudges become words and images. The press operators pull a paper from the stream, examine it, then twist knobs and flick switches. When they’re satisfied everything looks perfect, they dial up the speed.
The internet will always have the latest news, but it will never have that roar.
The final assembly of the Thanksgiving edition occurred on Wednesday morning in the packaging department. Some of the newspapers began to appear in stores by Wednesday evening — a lot of nonsubscribers pick up a Thanksgiving paper, so we want to get on the newsstands before people go home. We also gave carriers the option to deliver their papers early, so they could get some sleep and be with their families Thursday.
The week’s remaining papers were also big, requiring slightly early press starts Thursday, Friday and tonight. Late news and sports will be posted to our website.
It’s a lot of work to put out newspapers on Thanksgiving week, but we’re proud to do it. I hope you enjoy reading them.