Reporter Reeves Wiedeman could not have hoped for a better lynchpin. His Popular Mechanics March 2015 issue look at “The Daily Miracle” of how between 300,000 and 600,00 copies of the New York Times are rolled off the print presses every night centers around a man who once delivered the paper.
The plant that Ernie Booth oversees is in Queens; his paper route was in the Bronx:
The trailer trucks carry twenty-four pallets, a load of 50,000 copies. The trucks will make about eighty departures from the plant by morning, fanning out to other distribution points, from which the copies will be delivered to grocery stores, bodegas, office buildings and newsstands from New Haven to Albany to Trenton. Booth used to spend his nights waiting for the trucks to arrive – he had a Times paper route in the Riverdale section of the Bronx starting in 1986, when his daughter was born and he needed extra income.
Another funny Booth tidbit is his reaction when Wiedeman asks how well the newspaper editors ten miles away meet his print operation’s nightly deadlines. Hint: It’s the same general reaction that a paper boy might give subscribers who fail to tip during the Christmas season.
[Image courtesy: Popular Mechanics]