Thanksgiving edition remains really big deal

DOVER — Some notes and quotes between headlines and deadlines …

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This editor often jokes that the newsroom side of our building is a bit Dilbert-like, what with all of the gray cubicles and amusing observations of our copy editors.

In today’s newsrooms, it’s fairly quiet. No longer do we enjoy the cacophony of clacking typewriters, bells of the Associated Press wire machine or buzzing of timers in the darkroom.

From the Editor logo copy copyBut when we want to experience the hustle and bustle of daily newspaper life, we can visit Delaware Printing Co. in the adjoining building of our plant in Dover.

On Friday, the company was its usual maze of freshly printed publications and stacks of packets ready to go out with the Sunday paper.

Today’s edition is a warm-up to the big one coming with your Thanksgiving edition this week.

Joking with Ray Ford, production manager for Delaware Printing Co., this editor suggested it was his hard-working team’s Super Bowl.

“Every newspaper dreads or gets excited about Thanksgiving week,” said Mr. Ford, who has been in the newspaper production business since the late 1980s.

“We’re excited,” he said.

The Delaware State News edition will have fliers from pretty much every big retailer in the Dover area, along with special advertising promotions from several local shops and restaurants.

The Thanksgiving package, Mr. Ford said, is a “monstrous undertaking.”

“We fill the pallets four times as quick as we do for a regular Sunday,” he said.

The Thanksgiving edition annually is the day with the greatest number of single-copy sales.

Across the country, serious holiday shoppers make use of it to formulate their game plan.

“The infamous day-after-Thanksgiving retail bonanza — affectionately dubbed Black Friday — is always a major event for newspapers,” wrote David Chavern, president of the Newspaper Association of America, in a recent column. “Readers look forward to the arrival of the Thanksgiving edition of their local newspaper, stuffed with advertisements for the best retail sales, deals and coupons.

“While many shoppers expanded their media consumption to embrace digital and mobile formats, the local newspaper — in print and digital form — remains unrivaled when it comes to providing discounts, coupons and information on deals being offered at retailers in local communities.”

We hope you’ll enjoy the Delaware State News’ big “Holiday Gift Guide” that will arrive with Thursday’s newspaper.

It’s always fun to peel through the layers of inserts.

For the kids, be sure to pull out the fliers related to toys and games and encourage them to make some “wish lists.”

Along the same lines as comics, holiday perusing also will teach them to read and appreciate newspapers.

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Speaking of the funnies, we wish to give a shout-out to King Features and its artists on the syndicate’s 100th anniversary.

“The Family Circus,” “Blondie,” “Hagar,” “Zits,” “Baby Blues,” “Mutts” and “Beetle Bailey” are among the King titles still appearing in the Delaware State News.

Last weekend, “CBS Sunday Morning” had a nice feature on King and an interview with Beetle Bailey creator Mort Walker.

Mr. Walker, now 92 years old, has been drawing Beetle Bailey for 65 years.

He was asked if he was “as big a goof-off and goldbrick as Beetle Bailey” when he was in the Army.

“Where do you think I get the inspiration?” Mr. Walker replied. “And lazy! I was always takin’ a nap, I didn’t care where I was.”

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Two additional newspaper “extras” coming will be the annual “Holiday TV Guide” in the Friday, Nov. 27, edition and the “Holiday Events and Celebrations” section in the Thursday, Dec. 3, edition.

You’ll want the latter if you’re planning to attend the Capital Holiday Celebration in Dover and need the lyrics for the caroling.

Reach editor Andrew West at awest@newszap.com

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