Every week, the newspaper business holds an exciting mixture of thousands of moving parts, all being funneled onto anywhere from 16 to 26 pages – a number based on how many advertisements are placed. It all has to be finished to some degree of perfection on Tuesday morning, so you are able to read it on Wednesday.
As I write this (on Monday at a little after noon) we have the Obituary page built, as well as Arts & Entertainment, and Page A-3 (well A-3 is close to done).
The photos for the front page are still in the camera; I haven’t written the election results story; but I do know the names of all the little girls in the cheerleading picture that is supposed to go in Sports, but could be moved to a different page if there’s not enough room.
Meanwhile, I’ve had to call someone this morning to collect on a long-over due bill, sift through about 95 emails, discuss a timecard with home office, and exchange emails with other members of the board of directors for the Arizona Newspaper Association regarding the hiring of a new executive director.
I’m also reminded that just outside the back door of the office the delivery driver dropped off a defunct newspaper rack which was vandalized again and now spits the quarters back out and gives the newspapers away for free. I told him I will fix it, but I know I won’t have time to look at it until... well, I don’t know when.
It’s a mystery to me why people vandalize newspaper racks. If you successfully robbed both of our busiest racks in town, you might be able to buy a large pizza with two toppings.
This rack has been picked up from the Morristown post office after someone tried to pry it open to get what was potentially $3 in change. At this point, I give up. Two racks have been stolen from that location, so I had the delivery driver put a third one there over the summer and place 100 lbs. of sand in the bottom of it to make it harder to lift. Rather than make off with it, this time the thief just pried on it and failed to get to the coin box, but did manage to disable the machine. The racks cost about $375 each. That’s a lot of newspapers to sell to turn a profit on the placement of a new blue box.
So for our loyal readers in Morristown, I recommend a subscription. Your paper will be delivered faithfully in your mailbox on Wednesdays, but there won’t be a coin operated rack there any more.
In Wickenburg, we have racks all over town. Each week we count the number of quarters and balance to the number of papers placed in the racks.
Funny thing is that the rack at one of the banks always comes up about $6 short. For years. So we know that someone who frequents that rack puts in $1 and takes five more papers for her neighbors.
The rack at the Family Dollar always balances – one paper per dollar.
And so it goes from week to week in this business. In cowboy lingo, “We have a lot of irons in the fire.”
You may see me with a screw driver in one hand, a phone in the other, shooting photos of a fire while wearing high heels, or attending a business meeting in boots and jeans.
The same goes for all of us who work at the Sun. It’s a small staff, and we each do it all – the thousands of moving parts that are always different from week to week. We appreciate our readers, our advertisers and all who contribute information. Without you we wouldn’t be able to keep doing what we do – reflecting and informing the community.
Hope you enjoyed a little peak at our Monday. Now, I have to run and find the memory card reader so I can see if we have a front page photo...