Wait a second.
I caught my breath.
It’s been that kind of month in the newsroom. Rush from Project A to Project B with all kinds of little projects in between.
It included a front page you never got to see as well as one I never thought we would print.
The Page 1 that never was published would have been a keepsake — the Cleveland Indians winning the World Series. It was on the drawing board, ready to go, the entire front page devoted to the Tribe’s first world championship in 78 years. It included a huge action-packed photograph, accented by a gigantic headline. You don’t get that on the internet.
But you know the rest of the story.
The Chicago Cubs ended the Indians’ dreams sometime after 1 o’clock that Nov. 3 morning. The front page was turned back over to Jim Jordan, a photo of a woman wearing a funny hat, and a campaign stop in Lima by Anne Holton, wife of Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine.
So much for an exciting page.
Of course election night made up for that.
Like the rest of the world, we began the night with a game plan centered on a Hillary Clinton victory. The polls said that, and you know how much you can trust the polls. The headline would have been something like, “History welcomes its first Madam President.” But there was no Madam, just a big “damn!” as we realized around 9 p.m. that this was going to be anything but a routine election. Donald Trump could pull off a victory. Or would it be Clinton? Maybe … don’t say it! … we wouldn’t know — another Bush-Gore. (Gulp!)
We were determined to wait it out.
An editorial about Trump was quickly written for the opinion page to replace the one already done on Clinton. A new Page 1 was designed “just in case.” Then around 2 a.m., John Podesta told everyone at the Clinton campaign headquarters to go home, noting a long, slow count was planned.
The head of the pressroom was in the newsroom, wanting to know if that meant we were calling it a night.
About 40 minutes later, the “just in case” became reality with Clinton conceding.
The presses finally began around 3 a.m.
It was a record three-hour missed deadline by the newsroom, but our readers didn’t care. Sales the Wednesday after the election were up 52 percent when compared to Wednesday sales the previous six weeks.
It was interesting to see an article Friday in the Ohio Newspaper Association’s weekly newsletter that talked about how papers across the state handled the late results. Some of those newspaper front pages are pictured above.
My favorite was the Akron Beacon Journal. It was unable to change deadlines because of distribution issues. It made up for that Thursday when it published a front-page editorial (the regular Page 1 appeared inside) with the headline “One nation.” Editor Bruce Winges explained that after such a divisive election, the Beacon Journal staff felt a front-page editorial was appropriate because it was time to move forward.
So, are things now slowing down at The Lima News?
This week Sports steps into the spotlight with a special high school basketball preview section on Wednesday. Then Thursday it announces its high school football dream team. News reporters will be kicking off the Empty Stocking campaign, which marks its 25th anniversary of helping those in need during the holidays. For added measure, The Lima News annual Holiday TV listings come out Thursday.
And let’s not forget that Thanksgiving Day paper on Thursday. It is The Lima News’ largest newspaper of the year — a Super Bowl for shoppers, so to speak, with all of its advertisements for Black Friday deals. We’ll distribute roughly four times more papers on Thanksgiving than a normal Thursday. Carriers have been known to use larger vehicles to make sure they can get those newspapers to your doorstep.
It takes a lot of planning to publish your daily newspaper. Also patience, when those plans don’t always come together.
ROSES AND THORNS: Leave it to a first-grader to sneak a Pittsburgh Steelers presence into the rose garden.
Rose: To Zane Cunningham, 6, a first-grader at Elida Elementary School. He was selected as the “Lil’ Fan Friday” photo feature last week on Big Ben, the official website of Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Rose: An unknown baseball fan decorated a grave at Gethsemani Cemetery in Lima with headlines from the Chicago Cubs’ march to their World Series victory. The headlines were near the grave of Richard L. “Dick” Jordan, who died in 2001, and his wife, Lillian, as well as Larry Cox, a former Cub player whose tombstone is shaped like a baseball diamond.
Rose: More than 3,600 chicken dinners were sold during the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities annual chicken barbecue. The money raised will go toward purchasing a lift van for Marimor school students and adults.
Thorn: To Johnathon Alan Gillette, 27, of Ottawa, who was arrested on a charge of threatening a teacher.
Thorn: Traffic accidents have increased since the roundabout was built at the intersection of Shawnee and Fort Amanda roads. There have been nearly 30 accidents this year, and the intersection has the fifth highest crash frequency in Allen County.
PARTING SHOT: There’s one nice thing about egotists; they don’t talk about other people.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.