Software issues led to Friday's late papers

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned.

And when they don’t, we really know how much The Augusta Chronicle means to you – by your phone calls, by your e-mails, by the sight of our friends and neighbors standing in their driveways, looking for their papers.

And when things don’t go as planned, you deserve both an explanation and an apology.

On Thursday night, we had a software issue that inhibited file transfers to a machine that produces the plates for our press. Our files had to be sent to the Savannah Morning News, one of our sister newspapers, which printed your paper.

Our circulation department, with the help of volunteers from our advertising staff, started delivering them around 7 a.m. The last paper was delivered late Friday afternoon.

For subscribers who activated their all-access membership, the online edition and the iPad editions were available as normal – typically around 3 a.m..

Those all-access members also received an additional benefit – an e-mail Friday morning telling them the newspaper was late. This is part of an ongoing program to improve relations and communications with our readers.

Here are some of the responses to that e-mail that our circulation director received:

 

Thank you for this e-mail! I appreciate knowing the cause of the delay and commend you for taking a proactive step to notify customers.

 

Sir,

What a shock to see an email letting me know the paper will be late. Wow?

Do you have any idea as to how late?

I truly appreciate this update. I wish you would use it even if it is a partial delay that might inform of a problem with only one or two carriers.

 

E-mail notification is one more benefit for activating all-access membership – even if you never read a story online.

But readers who count on us every day, not just for their news, but for the experience, were rightfully disappointed.

A newspaper experience is about where, when and how you read that news. Read the editorials. Enjoy the comics. Fold the paper to do the crossword. Savor the coffee at your breakfast table.

You love your paper. And the experience that goes with it.

Every day we get to gather, write and edit the news. The news goes through a series of mechanical systems to get it on the press. The press rolls, your paper gets printed. It gets delivered.

But not always quick enough to meet the needs of your experience.

And for missing that experience Friday, we apologize.

 

JOHN GOGICK IS EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE. HE CAN BE REACHED AT (706) 823-3450 OR AT JOHN.GOGICK@AUGUSTACHRONICLE.COM.

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