It’s been an eventful three months since my arrival in Rice Lake and at The Chronotype.
Coming to a brand-new community and learning the ropes of the newsroom (Every one works differently. Trust me.) just before Thanksgiving and the holiday season, I plowed ahead despite shorter hours due to both COVID-19 and days off and the need to spend valuable time extracting myself from Ashland.
It seemed as if I moved forward a couple of steps each day, only to find myself slipping back at least one the following mornings. I’m still not up to speed but am diligently trying to keep myself from running afoul of avid Early Bird Weekender crossword fans. They take their puzzles seriously.
The three months also saw the newspaper facing a change in page layout and newsroom production.
Those of you with eagle eyes will have noticed some subtle changes in design as the newspaper is now paginated by an Adams Publishing Group arm we call Bozeman. There’s no secret to the name. At first the service centered around an APG newspaper in Bozeman, Mont., although now paginators work from home from all over the United States.
To be blunt, I fretted over the transition.
We would no longer be in complete control and would see some design changes made with an eye toward making our APG family of newspapers in northern Wisconsin look more consistent with each other.
Not all of the design changes have the newsroom staff’s stamp of approval, but it has allowed us to free up time to devote to other tasks.
Sports Editor Travis Nyhus and his B section went first and he made it look easy. But Travis, who is incredibly tech savvy, handled the transition with aplomb. Two weeks after he had his turn, my A section followed.
I can confidently tell you that worrying about the transition was 10 times worse than the move itself. The staff at the design hub were incredibly helpful and made both me and Travis comfortable with the procedures. We joined the Sawyer County Record and Leader-Telegram with Bozeman, and next the Spooner Advocate, Ashland Daily Press and Price County Review will follow.
With the Bozeman transition behind us, we then had to turn our sights on preparing to move to our new offices at 326 S. Main St., Suite 102, about three blocks down the road in Rice Lake. If you hear anyone asking why the newspaper office is no longer at 28 S. Main St. and speculate that we’re permanently closing our doors, please pass along the information. I know I’m telling people here and now, but I also understand that I could stand on top of the building in my birthday suit and yodel the news, and many people would still not hear about it.
Thursday will be the big day as that’s when our furniture is due to arrive. Friday we’ll be settling in and hopefully set up to get back into newspaper production mode on Monday. I hope that as with the move to Bozeman, the thought of moving turns out much worse than the actual event itself.
We continue to keep our doors closed to the public because of the pandemic, but people are welcome to swing by, peek in the window and wave. Remember the magic street address: 326 S. Main St., Suite 102, right by Marketplace.