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How the Times Comes Together

by Ron Holdraker
December 30, 2022

This is how the Times of Wayne County comes together.

No, there are no big offices with scads of staff running around, pushing to make deadline for the next edition.

This staff consists of Me and Wife Patti, in an approximately 12x12 bedroom in a our two bedroom house in Walworth. Our desks are about 4+ feet apart with another, with an unused desk on the other side of the room. The small closet is the supplies storage room and dust collector.

I usually start my day between 4-5 a.m. answering about 500 e-mails we receive each week. Then there are the early phone calls to police agencies.

On the floor are two dog beds,  two small converted bedroom stands hold two printers. One of the two stupid cats is always about, usually waiting for and chance when the printer spits out a sheet of paper.

Each desk has a phone and there is another phone out in the living room, next to my recliner.

We don’t have an intercom system, the house is small and yelling suffices.

On Monday, I usually get down to business with prepping early pages, consisting of Comics, Science, Our Planet, Page C2-Offbeat News, the Pets page etc.

Wife Patti usually prepares the legal notices pages and clean-up from last week. Mondays are usually busy with phone calls and a review of e-mails that have accumulated from over the weekend.

On Tuesday, I try to finish the early pages and begin thinking about a column for the next edition. Sometimes I leave the column until Thursday, but rarely. Meanwhile obituaries are sent, reviewed, prepped and responded to the senders all through the week. Also by Tuesday I begin to panic about the stories on the front page and sometimes begin research. Wife Patti begins her work on her One on One interviews of a person of the week and begins to fill her pages.

Meanwhile, throughout the week press releases and phone interviews for the Law & Order section are complied.

I have mentioned this before. One of the reasons the Times is succeeding where others failed, is that we know it takes more than just straight local news. The paper includes regional stories as well as state, national and world news. We subscribe to several news services and source materials, including working with our local news partner 13WHAM, Associated Press, Washington Post news services, just to name a few. Yes, these cost money, but...

Some stories are tossed about and Community, Sports, State etc. Stories are compiled and sent remotely sent to Son Devin’s house and computer.

Daughter-in Law Christy is in almost daily rage, yelling at Wife Patti for screwing up an invoice, missing paperwork, deposit, whatever. Christy  is the bookkeeper who keeps the funds flowing in and the books straight. We would be lost without either of them.

By Thursday, I am really in panic mode trying to figure out front page interests. Son Devin completes ad sales and I complete early page layouts.

By Friday, everything is pretty much figured out and meeting reports from our contracted writers begin to advance to the Meetings page. Wife Patti and Son Devin finish off ad designs.

Usually by noon on Friday, I am done and waiting for pages to materialize. Son Devin is sent the front page stories and begins his magic layout.

Last minute obituaries, final police stories are added. Sometimes a ‘breaking new” story appears and pages are edited and completed. The Times is finalized and electronically sent electronically somewhere out West, usually around 7 p.m. on Friday, where the final digitalization takes place, then it is forwarded to the Gannett Printing facility in the Town of Gates.

Within hours, the next edition of the Times is printed, labeled for mailing, put on a delivery truck and dropped off at our house in Walworth at about 4 a.m. The truck then continues to the Newark Post Office, where  the mailed copies are then shipped to Rochester for distribution back to Wayne County and through out the state and country. Our newsstand drivers arrive between 6-7 a.m. and county-wide distribution begins to newsstands throughout the County and ends Saturday morning. The rest of Saturday is usually crash time for us. Sunday, on a limited basis, we begin formulating next week’s edition. By Monday, we start the whole process over. 

Hint: When you call the Times and I answer, I usually tell you to hold while I transfer the phone to the appropriate department. That department is Wife Patti sitting feet away, unless I answer from my recliner, then she is in the  nearby bedroom converted to office and receives the message to answer the phone by our unique home intercom -  yelling across the room.

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