Page 1 Frenzy Friday

Quick play by play from Friday morning:

Two editors down for the morning; their days off; must pick up the slack. Christmas party blues, I suppose, from the night before, leads to meeting starting late. Budget, thusly, is late. Page 1 seems daunting. Beginning at 8 a.m., I’ve got Page 1, Page 3, Page 6 and Page 7 to finish before the dreaded deadline bell rings in just a few short hours.

Must attack workload in smart fashion. Get Page 3 and Page 1 rough layouts ready. Fish out unedited stories, some of which aren’t finished, to get a jump on headlines and available space. Drink coffee. Get more hyped. Feelin’ good.

Is Page 6A enough room for jumps? Holding Page 7A just in case. Don’t want to exert undue work time filling out briefs box there, so I’ll take my chances and wait, assuming we’ll need the space. Decide to concentrate on editing for a while. Then go back to page work. Must watch AP wire for breaking or updated stories. Should I make more coffee? Nah. Feelin’ good.

Sports stories trickling in. Must read them, at least as many as possible. I supervise those folks. They’re talented, but I gotta keep an eye out. Might be a stray comma, a misspelled name, who knows?

Back to Page 1 centerpiece. Plan is set. Centerpiece story is about students providing solutions to some city problems. Program gave them a shot to come up with answers. They did fine. I’m sweatin.’ It’s coffee time.

Things are coming together. Photos ordered from photo desk have arrived; promos at top and bottom must be done. Gotta research a bit to ensure accuracy. Look at pages as they’re complete to get accurate sentence to include with photos at the top and bottom of page, leading readers to inside stories.

Is there a bathroom break in the future. Yes, now. Gotta go. Too much coffee. Turn off the pot.

Edit others’ pages they print out before submitting to managing editor for final approval. Clock’s ticking. Death notice count is rising for the obituary page. Can’t break free to help. Would put Page 1 further behind. Trust my desk.

End up moving mall shooting from Nebraska to the bottom of the page about 10 a.m. Have to adjust page. Still need to edit. No more coffee. That would be detrimental.

Decide what photo to use with mall shooting story. Graphic accompanying story doesn’t seem informative enough. Will use art to balance out the page.

Coming together now. Photo captions written, promos in place and now I wait for last few stories. Will there be enough room on Page 6A for all the stories to continue there? Turns out no, there won’t. Hustle to put together briefs package for Page 7A while placing stories on front, writing headlines, jumplines, copying and pasting overflow stories from Page 1 to Pages 6-7A.

Got it. Now Page 1 is finished. Print out 14 proofs and distribute to staff members. There are a few problems, but they’re all fixed. Print jump page, get it proofed. Clock’s ticking, but we made it.

Tough Friday, but an exciting cap to the week.


One Response to Page 1 Frenzy Friday

  1. R. Justin Shepherd says:

    He’s lying. There’s no “deadline bell.” Also no pneumatic tubes by which the reporters “shoot” their stories over to “composition,” or any of that jazz they put in the old movies.

    There is, however, a convenient reminder: Lunchtime coincides nicely with deadline… so if ya start getting hungry, you know it’s time to wrap things up.

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