SALT LAKE CITY — An unprecedented problem with the printing presses is to blame for subscribers of the Deseret News, The Salt Lake Tribune and the Daily Herald not seeing their Saturday newspapers on time.
"For people who are used to waking up and having their papers there in the morning, it's very disruptive if they get up and the paper is not there, and we understand that," Newspaper Agency Company President Brent Low said Saturday.
He said Sunday subscribers "should see normal delivery times in most areas, with some potential issues in areas where snowfall is heavy."
For the first time in the company's history, the software and the hardware used to make pages on the 8-year-old presses at the West Valley City facility wasn't communicating with each other, resulting in a system-wide failure.
Low described the fairly new systems as very high-tech and said the software was purchased from a vendor in Germany that helped to resolve the problem from its overseas offices.
"We appreciate the patience of our subscribers and apologize for the disruption," Low said.
The Standard-Examiner in Ogden agreed to allow its facilities to be used to print Saturday's two Salt Lake-based newspapers, which are typically distributed all over the state, and the Provo-based publication.
Saturday's papers were to be delivered by early evening, with weather also playing a part in the delayed delivery times.
"We are not only very sorry for the inconvenience to our readers, but we are deeply appreciative of their high interest in the paper — and in their patience. Because of the sheer number of phones calls, we were unable to answer everyone personally. We apologize for that," said Deseret News Managing Editor Rick Hall.
"We're grateful to our partners at Newspaper Agency Company for their heroic efforts to correct the problem. And we're grateful to our friends at the Standard-Examiner for allowing us to print the Deseret News on their presses," he said. "If there's a silver lining here, it's that you, our great readers, missed not having the Deseret News. So, please know of our continued commitment to bringing you great content."
The malfunction will also result in an earlier printing time for Sunday's newspapers, which means the papers won't have coverage of the late Utah State University at Fresno State Mountain West Conference championship football game. Full coverage, however, will be available online immediately after the game at DeseretNews.com.
Obituaries, typically found in the B section of the Deseret News, will run in the A section of Sunday's paper.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: wendyleonards