Nothing shakes up a newspaper operation more than a power outage, especially during a major news event, such as when Hurricane Isaac hit New Orleans this week, cutting off power for the Times-Picayune, notes Grumpy Editor.
The newspaper, in the Advance Publications Inc. family with daily circulation of about 141,000, called on the Press-Register, a sister publication in Mobile, Ala., 130 miles away to handle the printing.
Isaac grew into a hurricane as it reached Louisiana and was downgraded to tropical storm on Wednesday afternoon.
The howling wind and heavy rain cut power for 83 percent of the New Orleans metropolitan area.
Those able to access the Web kept up with news developments via NOLA. com.
Andrew Beaujon, writing at Poynter.org, reported an email from Ricky Mathews, Times-Picayune publisher, explained the newspaper has not missed a day of publication. Mathews pointed out:
“We printed in Mobile, Alabama last night (Wednesday) since we have no power at the plant in New Orleans. Our drivers braved high wind and rain to get the papers back to Louisiana. Of course, there will be spotty delivery, but subscribers will get deliveries when conditions permit. We also enabled free access to the e-edition of the Times-Picayune via NOLA.com and communicated that access in advance of the storm.”
Meanwhile, the Times-Picayune, established in 1837, continued with plans to shift to a non-daily in the fall, printing three days a week.
Mathews earlier said the switch was necessary by the upheaval in the newspaper publishing industry and the future focus will be on boosting online news.