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Production problems delay Salt Lake Tribune delivery

Published December 7, 2013 7:42 pm

MediaOne says issue affecting three dailies is resolved and delivery is back on schedule.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Because of a press breakdown, The Salt Lake Tribune inadvertently became an evening newspaper on Saturday — and so did the Deseret News and Provo Daily Herald.

The MediaOne printing press in West Valley City that normally prints the three dailies broke down Friday evening. So Saturday editions eventually were printed on presses owned by the Standard-Examiner in Ogden through an emergency arrangement. Delivery was anticipated Saturday night.

Problems with the MediaOne presses were finally resolved about 2 p.m. Saturday, so MediaOne did not need to also print Sunday editions in Ogden — which had been a possibility.

"We should see normal Sunday delivery times in most areas with some potential issues in areas where snowfall is heavy," said Brent Low, president and CEO of MediaOne.

Low said the problems came with the computer operating system for the presses.

"There's a lot of moving parts and the system is very complex," he said. "The [computer] system that brings it all together stopped working Friday evening" after the presses had earlier finished printing editions of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

He said MediaOne officials were on the phone with the systems manufacturer in Germany for much of the day before the problem was resolved.

Low added that the presses have never had the same sort of problem, although delivery has been delayed by power outages and other issues. "We apologize to subscribers for the inconvenience."

Terry Orme, editor and publisher of The Tribune, said he believes it is the first time the newspaper has ever had to print somewhere besides its normal press, "so thanks to the Standard-Examiner. We hope we can return the favor some day."

He said he can remember only one time that delivery was delayed so long that papers were delivered in the afternoon, "but we eventually printed them with our own presses."

Orme pitched in to answer nonstop calls Saturday from readers wondering where newspapers were. "The phone has not stopped ringing. And people really want their newspaper. I have to add, they have been very understanding. I have answered 50 phone calls, and to a person they have been so polite and understanding."

Orme added, "It's distressing. It's a pretty good paper we put out. You work hard to do it. You want people to get it."