Examiner Editor Responds to Snowstorm: ‘A Deadline Issue’

Washington Examiner Editor Stephen Smith responds to our questions about why the paper largely missed the snowstorm today with this thorough reply:

He wrote to FishbowlDC:

“You’re right — it was a deadline issue. Thursday is a big day for us, with a press run of more than 280,000, with 180,000 earmarked for home delivery. We moved up our close two hours when we saw the weather turning into a nightmare. In making that quick decision, we obviously didn’t get a chance to see our worst expectations come to pass, although we did include a weather box on p. 5 saying what was apt to happen. We got the papers off press in good time. Even so, deliveries continue as [I] write.

The newspaper in the Soviet-style building up the street has a vast tank division to deliver its papers, but many of our staffers didn’t get their Posts. For the Post and the Examiner, sides streets are the big problem.

Some of our staffers needed from 8 t0 10 hours to get home, and others spent the night in our Springfield office, so it was the better part of valor to try to get the paper to as many people as possible. Our indomitable hawkers were out in force this morning, and the boxes were full.

In any event, the mythic quality of the commute is just sinking in today, which is something no newspaper could have captured last night.

Cheers, Stephen”