It was the end of era early Saturday morning as the West Central Tribune’s giant press rolled to a quiet stop for a final time.
Our Goss Community press, which started operations in July of 1980, has output the Tribune’s print edition on a regular basis for more than 40 years.
Reporter Carolyn Lange and photographer Erica Dischino have a great story package about the Tribune’s press on C1 and C2 today. I encourage you to read it.
The Tribune’s print edition for Wednesday will be printed early Tuesday evening at a Forum Communications Printing plant in Sioux Falls and trucked to Willmar for delivery by the U.S. Postal Service.
The Tribune’s press has been a great piece of equipment that has never failed the Willmar and west central Minnesota communities to my knowledge.
Once before I joined the Tribune, a computer malfunction prevented the pages from being output to plate at the Willmar plant. The Tribune had to output pages and print at Western Printers in Montevideo. And that had nothing to do with the Tribune press.
In the two decades that I’ve worked in the Tribune newsroom, we only came close once to not printing at the Willmar plant. Our page layout program’s license server failed one day and we had to learn a new layout program and produce all our pages for the next day within a 12-hour period. The newsroom got it done.
And the press was ready as always to roll when the last page was output a few minutes before midnight.
We will miss the rumble when our Goss press rolls to life. When people tour our building, their eyes go wide open when they see and hear the rumble.
Rain or shine, wind or snow, the press was scheduled to roll at midnight or 1 a.m. years ago. And we were rarely late, except for those election nights when the press start was scheduled at 2 or 3 a.m. in the morning.
It takes good machinery and great people — like the Tribune’s press and mailroom full-time and part-time staff. They worked nights and early morning to produce our print edition, get the inserts in the paper, get the papers and mailbags labeled correctly and delivered to your mailbox.
On our major holiday papers, like our Wednesday paper before Thanksgiving, the mailroom staff often didn’t wrap up their shifts until 4 or 5 in the morning. It takes dedication to work overnight hours on a regular basis like that. We will miss all of them and thank them for their dedication and hard work.
Our press crew has been led by good press foremen over the last four decades: Lyle Zimmerman, Dennis (Butch) Swanson, Alvin (Bud) Monson, Randi Palli, Andy Kahmann and Chris Peterson.
I’ve been fortunate to work with the last four of them. I always knew that when the final sports or news page was completed for the night that the press would soon roll to life and the newspaper would be delivered to our readers in the morning, reporting the latest stories and changes in our region.
The Tribune has seen a lot of changes in its lifetime, especially in the last six months. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many businesses and the lives of our residents. It is no different for the Tribune.
In the past 125 years, the Tribune has evolved with changes in technology and the economy to continue bringing news and information to our readers and advertisers. Moving the Tribune’s printing to a central location is just one of the changes the newspaper has made in recent months.
While we have changed our distribution methods, the Tribune is continuing to cover the news of Willmar and west central Minnesota.You can read our print edition when it arrives in your mailbox, or you can read our e-paper on your tablet or read wctrib.com on your mobile phone.
In fact, the Tribune is producing its e-paper seven days a week, publishing news and information on our website, wctrib.com, every day and publishing our print edition on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The Tribune staff will continue to be the daily recorder of the first draft of history in Willmar and west central Minnesota.
Thank you for reading the West Central Tribune.
Kelly Boldan is the editor of the West Central Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-214-4331.