TORRINGTON – A thunderous noise was heard emanating from Main Street in Torrington this past Wednesday through Friday, March 10-12. Turns out, the noise was coming from none other than the office of the Torrington Telegram.
The local newspaper press is operational once again. It’s been a few years since Torrington ran its own press, but Publisher Rob Mortimore is ecstatic to have the press operational once again.
“It gives me great excitement for our newspapers and communities to have the opportunity to bring a press operation back,” Mortimore said. “As we see many presses across the country closing up, for us to be in a situation to open ours back up speaks volume’s to where Wyoming Newspapers, Inc., is heading.”
After a business decision moved local newspaper printing operations to Cheyenne in June 2019, Mortimore found it would be mutually beneficial to bring press operations back to Torrington. The press operations will bring back five full-time jobs to the area and offer cost efficiency. In addition, Mortimore expressed there is a sense of pride in having a local press.
“We felt we needed to be in control of our own publications and deadlines,” Mortimore said. “Not to mention, economically it makes more sense for us to print in Torrington. When the press was closed in June 2019, it was in need of upgrades and maintenance. We’ve managed to take this opportunity to enhance our printing capabilities, which will lead to cost savings immediately.”
Adding to the jobs and cost saving, journalists working for these publications will now be able to have significantly more up-to-date news coming out with each edition of the newspapers.
Previously, news reports would be three days or older when they were printed in the publications. Now, the home-based press will allow news to come out on their regular days, Wednesday and Friday, but with the ability to add last minute news before printing the pages.
Head Pressman Ward Anderson and his crew have worked feverishly in the past several months to get the press up and running. He and his crew have removed old equipment, installed new equipment, repainted, fine-tuned and tweaked many parts of the press. Though the operation will require constant maintenance, Anderson and his dedicated staff are up to the task.
On Wednesday, March 10, Production Manager Julie Carr compiled documents and images to print on the newly acquired Fujifilm Press Plate Processor. The processor generates plates which are then used in the press machine to transfer the image to thousands of papers.
Carr sent the documents and images to the Fujifilm processor and created a plate to test run the machine. The plate was inserted into the press and out came fully printed newspapers. Carr, Mortimore and Anderson carefully examined the “fresh off the press” papers and noted what needed adjusted and what was satisfactory.
Anderson ran along the machine turning knobs, making adjustments and fine-tuning every aspect of the printing job. He said it would take some time to get all of the “kinks” worked out, but the pages came out crisper and crisper as time went on.
Finally, on Thursday and Friday, Anderson, Carr and the rest of the team at the Telegram generated their first full production run of the Weekly Shopper. Though there were a couple of minor issues, Anderson is confident he and his crew will be able to work them out.
Beginning March 12, all Torrington Telegram, Lingle Guide, Lusk Herald, Guernsey Gazette, Platte County Record-Times and Business Farmer publications will be printed on the press housed at the Torrington Telegram’s office location, 2025 Main Street in Torrington.