The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Change ahead for Eagle delivery


By Publisher Rick Nelson

There are Eagle readers who buy their copy as soon as they can on Wednesdays. After this week, they will no longer be able to do so.

Our printing schedule is changing.

Since at least 1970, The Daily News in Longview has printed The Eagle for us. Before then, we had a press with the year 1895 cast into the frame. We used a Linotype (see it at the Wahkiakum County Historical Museum) and hand set type to form the pages. The type and photo engravings were all metal. Some illustrations were cast in lead and mounted on wood blocks. Etc. We placed everything in steel frames, locked them down, loaded them on the press, printed one side, printed the other side, folded, inserted and addressed the papers. Composition, printing and mailing took about 18 hours on Wednesday. But the Linotype wore out, and the former publisher, my father, Bob Nelson, adopted the new technology of offset printing which involved typing everything on paper, pasting it on page-size sheets and hauling them to the The Daily News press, five-six hours of work just for composition.

Now, composition is digital, all on computer taking about four hours. We email the pages to the Daily News; they print, address and insert ads in less than two hours. We email the pages to them before noon on Wednesday, drive to Longview and pick them up around 2:30 p.m., arriving back in Cathlamet in time to deliver to post office and certain newsstands and upload stories and photos to our website before dinner time.

That's changing this week. I recently received a phone call from Daily News publisher David Thornberry to inform me about the changes ahead for his newspaper. His corporate officers have decided to cease printing in Longview and relocate that task to The Democrat Herald newspaper in Albany, Ore. We'll still compose the way we've done on Wednesday mornings. The printed papers, however, won't come back from Albany to Longview till midnight, so there won't be any Wednesday delivery.

Starting with our March 13 edition, delivery will occur early Thursday morning, 6:30-7:00 a.m. I'm not a morning person, so I'm not looking forward to that change. Next week, I'll be a night rider, or something.

However, change it is. Mr. Thornberry had hoped to increase Daily News press work, but that won't happen. The crews in the press room and mail room will lose their jobs. Some may relocate or move into new positions, but most are out of work.

My heart goes out to them. They've looked out for us over the years and have been absolutely helpful and wonderful to work with.

They're not the only people going through this. The Daily Olympian and The Tacoma News Tribune have shut down their presses; those papers are now printed by The Columbian in Vancouver.

Publishing a newspaper is, to say the least, a challenging endeavor.


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