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The Fayetteville Observer Gets a New Press And an Old Name

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FAYETTEVILLE — A new $15 million press is part of a huge expansion project for The Fayetteville Observer, and with the new technology comes old tradition.

The Fayetteville Observerhas a new press but an old name. The name has been changed back to the way it was over 150 years ago.

"I think it is a reflection of our heritage as North Carolina's oldest paper, and now we come out with this great, new look. At the end of the century, we thought if we were ever going to do it, now is the time to go back to The Fayetteville Observer," said Editor Charles Broadwell.

The Fayetteville Observer started as The Carolina Observer in 1816. With time came new sections and new technology.

This week, the paper has a new business section and a weather page, but the most recognized change is a new printing press.

"I've done a lot of history and a lot of research on this newspaper, and they were having a good day if they could print 1,000 sheets an hour. Now, we can print 70,000 complete newspapers an hour," said Production Director John Jenkins.

Employees and readers agree. They say there is no comparison in the clarity and color from the very old to the very new.

"It's more attractive to the eye. It used to be just a dull piece of paper laying around. The colors really stand out," said one reader.

The Fayetteville Observer has a long history.

The Observer has the distinction of being North Carolina's oldest newspaper. The paper began printing in 1816.

Now, The Observer has 466 employees. They print more than 68,000 papers every weekday and more than 81,000 papers on Saturday and Sunday mornings.


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