Publisher Eddy Hartenstein made a statement this morning about the production problems at the Los Angeles Times' lone-remaining printing plant that led to most papers being delivered late today — and some being delivered without a Sports section or news of the Lakers championship. The printing problems were unrelated to the Lakers win, Hartenstein says without elaborating. But the pressroom was asked to produce 50,000 additional copies due to the Lakers win. Additional ouch: The smaller Register in Orange County put out a Lakers special section (* but also published late; see note below.) Hartenstein:
"Papers are now being delivered and will continue to be throughout the early afternoon. The Times is making every effort to ensure the problem is rectified, and it is not necessary for home-delivery customers to call in to report problems in order to get a paper...
The production problems were unrelated to the Lakers' NBA championship win and the subsequent violence by some fans," Hartenstein said in the statement. "We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and frustration experienced."
Times pressman Ed Padgett said on his blog, "In my thirty-eight years working at the Los Angeles Times, last night was the very first time I wondered if we would deliver today’s edition to our readers. Yes it was that bad last night at the Olympic Production Facility."
Also: While the LAT pressroom was melting down last night, Padgett said he was told to order workers to put away their cellphones: "With all the ado in the pressroom last night I was requested to inform my brothers and sisters to put their cell phones away, or be written up. I thought to myself, you’ve got to be f*@king kidding me?"
And: Register also published late, per a note on the paper's website: "Due to manufacturing difficulties experienced by our distribution partners, delivery of The Orange County Register may be as much as two hours late in many parts of Orange County today. Thank you for your patience."
Previously at LA Observed:
Big problems at the L.A. Times this morning