Wednesday's issue of the West Central Tribune will be the biggest of the year
WILLMAR -- Get ready, because the biggest newspaper of the year is coming to your doorstep or mailbox Wednesday.
The Wednesday edition of the West Central Tribune will be stuffed full of retailer advertising, coupons and inserts for Black Friday, making the edition the largest paper of the year.
Not only is it the largest paper of the year, the Wednesday paper is one of the best-selling editions of the year, especially among readers waiting for the sale advertisements tucked inside.
The press will start running an hour early to print the extra 4,000 copies of the edition to meet customer demand, according to Mark Herman, circulation manager for the West Central Tribune.
Again this year, the Tribune also is having a 30-minute "hot off the press" event from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Wednesday at its plant at 2208 Trott Ave. S.W., giving customers a chance to be among the first to buy a copy of the paper.
Herman expects a line of eager shoppers just waiting for those shopping ads.
"It's fun to see the excitement of the people getting the paper 'hot off the press,'" he said.
When the 30 minutes are over, the next opportunity to get the edition is in stores and vending machines as they are stocked with the copies of paper.
Producing the largest edition is exciting, but does come with challenges, according to Steve Ammermann, publisher of the West Central Tribune.
"It is great for readers searching for the Black Friday deals," Ammermann said. However, the edition makes lots of extra work for the production workers, drivers and carriers. The drivers make multiple trips to haul the edition, and carriers need to muscle up to deliver the biggest edition.
"Our drivers have to come back for another load, because they can't take it all in one trip," Ammermann said.
Herman credits both the advertisers and the subscribers to the paper for their support, and the mailroom workers, drivers and carriers for their efforts, for making the biggest newspaper possible and then delivering the edition.
"Without the advertisers and subscribers, we wouldn't have a paper, we need to thank them," he said. "The real heroes are the mailroom workers to put it all together and the carriers who deliver the paper. It's amazing the amount of work that goes into it."
The newspapers that land on the doorstep or go into the mailbox on Wednesday are expected to weigh about 2 pounds apiece. Because of their size, single copies are being sold for $1.50 that day, the same price as the Tribune's weekend edition.
The growing number of advertising inserts in the pre-Thanksgiving edition shows retailers are confident that consumers are coming out to shop and buy this holiday season, the publisher says.
"The retailers are excited going into the season," Ammermann said. 'They have positive expectations this year."