Clicking, clacking sounds mean Santa is on his way

DOVER — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the Delaware State News.

On Friday, this editor went out to the Delaware Printing Company side of our plant to see how the Thanksgiving stuffing was going.

There was a lot of clicking and clacking going on around the inserting and stacking equipment. On Friday afternoon, the machine was dropping multiple flyers into the print “jackets” at a rate of close to 10,000 an hour.

This is our version of the “North Pole” in action.

We’re going to have another thick Thanksgiving Day edition.

“We’ve had 19 straight days of assembling packets,” said Ray Ford, DPC’s production manager.

For the “wow” factor, here are some facts about the Delaware State News that will be arriving at our subscribers’ homes and stores Thursday:

• 574,656 inserts will go out the loading dock door on Wednesday evening;

• Each edition will weigh in at more than 2.5 pounds.

Even though some consumers are perusing websites in search of deals and Black Friday flyers, you really can’t beat the aggregation of so much shopping information in a Thanksgiving edition.

The newspaper will include a supplement from almost every big retailer in Dover.

The whole process is pretty amazing. It starts with a paper “jacket” — or wrapper — that holds the other inserted material.

Vernon Bailey works the stacker at Delaware Printing Company.

For instance, with today’s edition, the television and comics section acts as one of the wrappers.

The “jacket” is placed, one at a time, into an inserting machine and clicks and clacks its way around a circle and vacuums holds it open.

Stacks of other inserts are put into place and they get dropped in one at a time as the jacket makes its way around the circle and into a stacking machine.

No wonder “Ollie” was smiling on each paper as his ad was falling into place.

Check online today and you can see a video of this process in the “From the Editor” section.

Mr. Ford said the first of the Thanksgiving Day edition flyers came in on Nov. 3.

You’ll be able to consider “wish list” items on electronics, toys, fashion, jewelry and more.

When you add up all the hours, it’s basically a full week of work for the staff of 13 inserters at Delaware Printing Company.

Ray Ford, production manager for Delaware Printing Company, says the Thanksgiving package has been in the works for three weeks. (Delaware State News/Andrew West)

This is in addition to the regular daily demands that go with the Delaware State News and extraordinarily long list of print customers Delaware Printing Company serves in the region.

“We’ll do an MVP award for each shift after we’re finished,” said Mr. Ford. “They get to vote on the employee that goes above and beyond.”

***

Coming up on Thursday, Nov. 30, is our “Holiday Events and Celebrations” section. You’ll want to have that to practice your favorite songs in advance of the “Capital Holiday Celebration” in front of Dover City Hall that night.

Our holiday television fans will be happy to hear that our Holiday Viewers’ Guide is in the works, too. It will be in the Friday, Dec. 1 edition of the Delaware State News.

Reach editor Andrew West at awest@newszap.com

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