'Globe' Stops the Press for Kennedy Death

By: Joe Strupp The Boston Globe literally stopped the presses at about 1:30 a.m. to change the paper's front page and several inside pages to include the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy today.

When news broke at about 1:25 a.m. that the famed Massachusetts legislator had died, the Globe's first two editions had already been printed and shipped.

But after being awakened with the news, Editor Martin Baron ordered the third edition to be stopped and changed. After it ran, the fourth edition also was printed with the reformatted layout.

"The night crew woke me up and they did a fantastic job turning it around," Baron said this morning. "I stayed up for a few hours, but the night crew ran it from here."

The paper's layout was changed to include what Baron called a "short version" of Kennedy's obituary, which ran at about 3,100 words. He said the longer version would be in a special 12-page section set to run in Thursday's paper. He did not know the exact length of the longer version.

The editions of the Globe that included the Kennedy death led with the obituary across the top half of Page One, with the headline: "Kennedy dead at 77." The obituary also jumped to an entire inside page.

Baron said 186,000 copies of the paper were printed with the Kennedy news. That is out of a daily circulation of 302,638. The single-copy press run was increased by 33,150 copies for today's paper

"It made it into the papers that went to Martha's Vineyard and the Cape," Baron said. He did not know how many copies of the original third edition were dumped and reprinted.

Several people on Twitter noted their surprise to received a Globe this morning with the Kennedy death included.

The Globe Web site, meanwhile, has numerous photo galleries, video reports, and related stories, as well as a link to a Legacy.com tribute page.

The obituary, which had the byline of former Globe reporter and editor Martin F. Nolan, had initially been written at least eight year ago, since Nolan left the paper in 2001. Baron said it had obviously been updated numerous times in the past months and weeks. The Globe had also run a seven-part series on Kennedy in February.

Editors from the Boston Herald, which also had the death news on Page One, were unreachable for comment Wednesday morning.


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