RALEIGH — Notice anything different about your newspaper Thanksgiving morning? The people atThe News and Observersure did. Carriers across the Triangle were lugging around what is probably the biggest and heaviest paper of the year.
Thanksgiving is always one of the largest papers with tons of newsprint and millions of pages printed. It is all part of what may be the largest edition of the year forThe News and Observer. The volume is thanks to all the post-holiday ads and circulars.
"It's so big, we have to start printing it like three days out," says assistant foreman David Hassell.
By 2 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, it is showtime forThe News and Observer. The newspaper has eight huge distribution centers across the Triangle, where carriers get together more than 200,000 newspapers.
There are only a few days in the year, all around the holiday season, where the newspaper has four huge parts.
Some estimates put the newspaper at six or seven pounds, making it a heavy load for carriers like Debbie Williams. She began working for the newspaper in the summer.
"I'm just confused right now, I've never done a four-part paper before. So I'm trying to make sure I'm getting everything I'm supposed to have," she said.
It takes Williams and her daughter, Chakhan, an hour to fold the 138 newspapers they have to deliver.
"The car's never been stacked this high," she marveled. "It won't take long, get going and knock it right on out."
And knock it out they did. Most all of Williams' papers arrived on their driveways and doorsteps with a mighty thud, all before dawn. The News and Observerofficials say the average Sunday paper weighs four pounds. The average weekday paper is only about a pound.