Monday, January 26, 2009

Memo from Steve Hunt

Good afternoon,

As you know, the copy desk from the San Bernardino Sun and the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin will be joining our copy desk on Monday, Jan. 26 as we create an Inland Division Universal Desk. This desk will be responsible for copy editing every story and designing and paginating every page in our three newspapers, as well as the Sun and the Bulletin. It is an enormous task, one that requires incredible cooperation and planning. That cooperation will involve every reporter and editor on our city desk, features desk, business desk and sports desk.

One of the challenges in this venture is that three papers now share the same off-the-floor deadlines. The Whittier Daily News, Sun and Bulletin all are due off the floor at 10 p.m. Experience tells us that won't work very well when we join our desks into one. So, we're going to adjust two of those deadlines to give our designers and copy editors enough of a gap to ensure we make deadline for all three papers every night. Beginning Jan. 26, the deadline for the Sun will be 9:30 p.m. and the deadline for Whittier will be 9:45 p.m. The Bulletin deadline will remain 10 p.m. Pasadena's deadline will remain 10:45 p.m., while Tribune's will change to 11:30 p.m.

But those aren't the only changes. Because many of our copy editors and designers will be working 1:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. shifts, we also are going to change the copy deadlines for reporters at all five papers. Beginning Monday, Jan. 19, all inside A section copy for the three SGVN papers will be due at 1:30 p.m. A1 copy for Whittier and Pasadena will be due at 5 p.m., while A1 copy for the Tribune will be due at 5:30 p.m. This will provide us with the necessary copy flow so copy editors and designers can meet their page flow deadlines. For those of you who have never worked on a copy desk, what this does is prevent a logjam of pages on deadline, which would inevitably lead to late press starts and late delivery of papers. Of course, we realize there will be live and late stories from time to time. Special allowances will be made for those, as well as breaking news. But the hope here is to set up a system that provides for greater copy flow earlier in the day to ensure every paper in the Inland Division makes deadline and every reader gets his or her paper on time.

Naturally, those of you making photo assignments will want to try to line those up as early as you can too. We have more leeway on A1 than inside the A section, but it greatly helps designers to have art early in their shifts. Again, exceptions will be made for live events and breaking news.

Also next week, we will have one-hour earlier deadlines on Tuesday because of the inauguration. Circulation plans to print several thousand extra copies to sell on the street and wants to make sure those papers get to delivery people earlier. So on Tuesday night, Whittier's deadline is 9 p.m., Pasadena's is 9:45 p.m. and Tribune's is 10:45 p.m. For that night only, we'll want normal inside A copy by 2 p.m. and everything else by 4 p.m.

Thanks very much for your help. And while I am at it, I will echo Frank's comments about the good work you have all done recently. The Rose, our Jan. 2 parade wrap and the other special sections we've done recently were exceptional. But I am most proud that we had incredibly strong papers throughout that busy period and have kept that going. These are trying times for newspapers and most other businesses. But I am so proud of all of you and the papers we publish every day.

Thanks very much,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cut the BullCrap and just go web all the time. No one gives a crapola about the subscribers or you would give them real news to begin with. Oh wait, scratch that. You would not have money from ads to keep all those managers salaries going, and ofcourse managers who sit on their ass deserve better than the poor schmoes who actually do the work, we fire those real fast to have money left over for the suits.