It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s a real inconvenience for our staff and our valued readers.
This will be the third winter since we amalgamated our printing operations with our larger sister paper, the Winnipeg Free Press, in the provincial capital.
The move was made after the Globe and Mail decided, in 2010, to end a 25-year business relationship with the Brandon Sun and have its regional edition printed in Saskatchewan.
So, with the loss of our major commercial printing client, a decision was made to follow an industry trend seen at smaller chains across North America and centralize printing operations for a numbers of papers and commercial clients at the largest regional printing press.
And after a few bugs were worked out, the system here has worked like a charm. The pages are electronically sent from our newsroom on Rosser Avenue by the 11 p.m. deadline and early morning subscribers — an excellent service, we are told by readers — usually receive their papers between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.
However, the one thing that can throw a spanner in the works is really bad weather.
And — touch wood — we have had only a few weather-related delays in two years. Just a handful. And many of those were just a matter of the paper arriving a couple of hours late.
But freezing rain overnight Friday turned most southern Manitoba highways into skating rinks. The build up of ice on the Trans-Canada Highway was especially bad — enough to force the closure of the key east-west national transportation link overnight and almost until noon Saturday.
When that happens, information on the delay for readers will be posted on brandonsun.com and our Facebook page. Those 2,873 of you who also follow us on Twitter will receive tweets right to your phone about the delays and the expected time the truck will arrive. The first tweet on Saturday went out at 6:30 a.m. And with the help of some of the 2,873 followers, the info on the paper’s delay spread quickly via retweets.
And, as we did this past Saturday, when the delay is likely to be significant — we’ll post a link to a free copy of the paper in PDF form on the website as a courtesy to our readers and advertisers.
While we know nothing beats a steaming cup of coffee and a real morning newspaper — especially on a Saturday — if Mother Nature gets cranky one night, we’ll do our best to make our readers and advertisers happy.
We want to continue to be “Your Home Page — In Print and Online.”