A couple of readers wrote that they were pleasantly surprised to see that the late-breaking news Friday night of Barack Obama’s VP pick made it into The Eagle’s Saturday print edition. One reader noted that the story wasn’t in some of the country’s largest newspapers, including The New York Times.
How did we do that? Lots of hustle from our nightside editing staff and pressroom Friday night. And it helps to be in the central time zone, with later deadlines than the East Coast papers.
Michael Roehrman, our deputy editor for production, told me in an “overnight note” that about 10 people scrambled in the newsroom when a news bulletin moved on our wire services with word that Obama had picked Joe Biden. Our Saturday paper had already gone to press, so Michael’s staff asked the pressroom team to run the press slower until we could get new pages to them. That means some early copies of the paper likely went out without the news, but I haven’t been able to verify that yet with a production manager.
It’s amazing to watch an experienced night news team in action getting breaking news in the paper. It’s a very complicated undertaking, with designers remaking pages, copy editors writing new headlines, editors pulling together stories from often-sparse available information. That gets rushed into production, new plates are made, the press is stopped, replated, and then starts rolling again with the fresh news.
I’m proud of how well our team executed this maneuver Friday night, and to reader David B., thank you for the great note to start Monday morning. I’m glad we were there for you Saturday morning.