Ice Storm Doesn’t Stop Mich. Paper

By: Ana Mantica

The Great Midwest Ice Storm might have kept some people home from work, but it didn’t keep The Daily Telegram from publishing — in the dark.

The storm that knocked out power in most of Lenawee County, Mich., left Adrian’s 15,591-daily-circulation Telegram without power from Thursday morning (Jan. 31) until midnight Saturday. On deadline, and powerless, they packed up computer equipment and moved their operations to Editor Chris Iott’s home early Friday and printed two issues — combining Thursday with Friday and Saturday with Sunday.

“We put out two pretty awful papers,” Iott told E&P. “But I’ve never been so happy to see it sitting on my front porch.”

Four employees, including the sports editor and production people, worked from Iott’s basement, and others toiled from home where they sent in most stories via e-mail. From Iott’s cellar, they e-mailed pages to the Sturgis Journal, roughly 80 miles west (as the frozen crow flies), for printing. The Telegram had to rent a truck to pick up copies at the Journal and deliver them to subscribers, some of whom were without power themselves and hadn’t seen or heard the news in a day or two.

So why not just take a holiday instead? According to Iott, they wanted to get ads published with a bit of news so they wouldn’t take a beating in revenue. But, he said, it also “was nice to hear afterwards: ‘You did a great job. You were my only source of news.'”

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