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Tribune to publish its largest paper of the year

WILLMAR -- The Wednesday edition of the West Central Tribune will be one essential item on Black Friday shopping lists.

Weighing in at more than 2 pounds, the Tribune's Nov. 25 issue is even bigger than last year's pre-Thanksgiving edition, which sold out of its 17,500 copies.

This year's 40-page edition contains four sections, with just over 1,700 inches of advertisement and 23 advertising inserts.

"Tomorrow's edition has something for everyone," said Tribune publisher Steve Ammermann.

Planning for the Pre-Thanksgiving edition began nearly eight weeks ago, with the first advertising inserts for Friday's sales arriving in early November, according to mailroom manager Rick Buddy.

Buddy and his crew began preassembling inserts into larger packages weeks ago, with the last bundle of advertisements being assembled this week.

The news department has also been working ahead in producing the biggest issue of the year.

 The A and B sections will contain news, sports and advertising content. The C and D sections will feature some special holiday content in addition to calendars of local arts and holiday events.

"Our C and D sections were completed early in time for an early press run," said Tribune Editor Kelly Boldan. "And the news and sports staff will have an early deadline for Wednesday's paper."

Once the paper goes to press this evening, Buddy's team will begin to hand-stuff 18,000 copies of Wednesday's edition with advertising inserts.

"Our crew will have put in over 300 hours on this edition," Buddy said. Buddy estimates that once the press starts churning out copies late tonight, the Wednesday edition will be completed and stuffed in about three hours.

Copies of the Nov. 25 edition will go on sale at midnight Wednesday across the street from the West Central Tribune, where early-bird readers can secure a copy "hot off the press."

"The demand is definitely there," said Mark Herman, Tribune circulation manager. "Readers will be able to plan their Black Friday attack in plenty of time."

Only 300 papers will be sold at this location, with a limit of five copies per person. Sales end at 1 a.m.

Tribune dealers will be selling the Wednesday edition at their usual locations. Regular subscribers will receive their paper as part of their subscription.

Paper carriers will be carrying nearly double the weight on their morning route as they deliver all papers to subscribers by 6:30 a.m.

Tim Rogers, 15, of Willmar, will wake up extra early Wednesday morning in preparation for his morning route. Since the paper will be nearly four times the size of a normal Wednesday edition, he plans to drop off bundles of papers at various locations along his route.

The Tribune has morning carrier service in 11 counties provided by more than 200 carriers. Some routes are more than 100 miles long and take five hours to complete. About 4,000 Tribunes also are delivered via the U.S. Postal Service.

"The Pre-Thanksgiving issue contains an array of quality news, features and advertising, and is the result of weeks of planning and preparation," Ammermann said.