Magazine article Editor & Publisher

USA Today's Pre-Run Roll Up

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

USA Today's Pre-Run Roll Up

Article excerpt

SINCE LAUNCHING USA Today, the Gannett Co. has required new print sites to make two preliminary press starts daily for a few to identify and correct problems on press before beginning live production, according to the paper's production vice president, Ken Kirkhart, and its field operations director, Lorrie Craig.

Eventually, the sites drop back to one such pre-run roll up, and just about all continue the practice thereafter. While the NAA hopes the practice may cut costs by reducing waste, the Gannett executives agreed that the primary reason for roll ups was to ensure that papers of acceptable quality leave each plant on time.

Preparedness is essential because the sites have only 15 minutes between the arrival of the last page and the start of the press run, according to Kirkhart.

"The idea is to have quality right out of the box," said Craig. "It allows us to get acceptable copies as soon as possible."

NAA press manager Frank Balentine said he thinks the procedure can help save time and startup waste. But while readying a press with a brief and comparatively slow pre-run would seem to suggest lower start-up waste, Kirkhart reported otherwise. "As far as waste goes," he said, "we've seen very little difference in whether you do a roll up or you don't do a roll up."

The practice may well save time, however, if it prevents interruption of live production. Kirkhart said USA Today sites perform roll ups in "nonproductive" time in advance of regular press runs. He said roll ups consume no extra time, and that a full makeready normally takes between one and two hours. …

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