published Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Gerber: TFP press project nears end

We told you it would be painful.

The new press being installed at the Times Free Press has prompted some recent changes. The alignment of the sections changed Tuesday through Saturday, with Sports moving to Section B. News and obituaries moved to Section C. Business and the weather page moved, too, to Section D.

We had a few days when we had to publish early, meaning we couldn't include coverage of the Atlanta Braves and Chattanooga Lookouts games because they ended after our deadline. We also had two days when much of the paper, including Page One, was black and white.

And it turns out most readers didn't seem fazed by the black and white pages. I didn't get a single complaint. But some didn't care for the sections jumping around. And, as for the absent baseball coverage, well, those Braves fans were hoppin' mad. Even though we posted all the coverage at timesfreepress.com, some people didn't want to go online to read it. They wanted to read it in the paper.

People ask all the time why the new press is not yet complete, why it's taking so long. "The Panama Canal took less time to build," one reader joked. "We'll have a new president before that press is finished," stated another.

In reality, the new press is a major, massive construction project. Granted, not as big a project as, say, the Chickamauga Lock, but this one's privately funded, so it'll be finished a lot faster.

We're replacing an outmoded printing press with a newer one that includes three huge towers. We couldn't put them in all at once; instead section by section, we've taken out the old press and put in the new one.

So thanks for your patience, readers. We promise it'll be worth the wait. The new press will allow the Times Free Press to offer more color pages and better print quality.

And, as we've said from the start, our dedication to coverage of the news that matters to you will not change. The news you care about might be black and white; it might take you a little longer to find the section you want to read first. But the news will be there.

Contact Alison Gerber at agerber@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6408.

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