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Charleston Newspapers deals with press problems

Charleston Daily Mail photo by Craig Cunningham Matt Hindman said some press operators have worked 20 hours straight trying to resolve production problems. Charleston Newspapers has been taking extra measures to make sure its paper stock is being stored in adequate humidity, and the company plans to return to 30-pound stock.
Charleston Daily Mail photo by Craig Cunningham
Matt Hindman said some press operators have worked 20 hours straight trying to resolve production problems. Charleston Newspapers has been taking extra measures to make sure its paper stock is being stored in adequate humidity, and the company plans to return to 30-pound stock.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For more than 100 years, the Charleston Daily Mail and Charleston Gazette have delivered the news straight to your door.

But the past couple of weeks have been more challenging than most.

Recently, the printing process has resulted in frustrating starts and stops. Three times in the past two weeks, newspapers have had to be delivered in the afternoon or the next day.

Describing what is happening isn’t hard: Long rolls of paper run through a big blue printing press that is 100 feet long and 30 feet high. The paper has been snapping repeatedly partway through the press run, resulting in long delays to reconfigure and get going again.

Then it snaps again.

Describing why it’s happening is more complicated: In addition to care and expertise from the experienced press crew at Charleston Newspapers, the company has had outside experts examine the press, an 11-unit Goss Metro Offset, and the paper in the search for a solution.

“It’s been production problems that we find unacceptable and that we know our subscribers find unacceptable,” said Trip Shumate, president and chief financial officer for Charleston Newspapers. “We’re bringing in advisers to evaluate the press to eliminate all possible problems…

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