A message from the publisher on late newspaper deliveries

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I wish I could say that our recent press mishaps were all equipment problems. I also wish I could say that they were all due to power surges. I wish, I wish, I wish ...

It is true that the past few weeks have not been gold star achievements for the Nevada Appeal newspaper deliveries. Very true. The range of the problems has been from power surges (that cause sudden stops in the press that wraps the paper in tangled bunches that need to be detached and realigned) to machine malfunctions, to carriers saying, "Forget it..." because of all of the above.

Many of you have at some time or other met me and talked with me, or have befriended me and me you. You know I do not pull punches, even at the risk of self-imposed deprecation. And I do not plan, for better or for worse, to change my character. The problem we faced on Friday is due to the human machine. Us. In my view, we blew it. From the point of the press derailed to the point of our phones being on overload and rendering "postal" busy signals, we blew it.

It's easy to say, "I'm sorry. We're sorry." So I said it. Now, I personally will set out to put my money where my mouth is, or a rolled up newspaper in it by doing something about it. It looks like the issues we face with new employees on the press (which, by the way, has the same excuse effect as saying a restaurant has a new cook in the kitchen), and our emphatic need for additional phone trunks to handle all calls with at least, if nothing else, a recording to inform you that someone"a real person who breaths, talks, and was born of human flesh"will call you back in reasonably short time.

On Monday, our team of senior executives and managers are meeting (I know that's as dangerous as a land mine in a parking lot) to discuss action steps that start from the time our presses are rolling to the time of delivery, using real-life scenarios, to plan out smart, quick, and effective back-up plans that even include people like me delivering papers when our community is in need.

It might be of interest too, that we are in the process of installing a brand new electronic service (more techy stuff, but good stuff nonetheless) for our subscribers. The service is called iService. It is a service available on-line to all subscribers (you must have an account number with us for it to be operable) that allows you to enter your claim electronically. Your claim is then printed out at the Appeal into the hands of one of our customer service representatives, who will be expected to call you personally. This would not be of service for problems with newspaper availability at convenience stores or our metal rack locations, but certainly to subscribers.

The bottom line, folks, is that I have seen enough, and we are on it. The unfortunate but real part of life is that it sometimes takes the extreme of an occurrence to prompt a different way to look at things.

I welcome your calls and your e-mails. And I return all messages as quickly as possible. My direct line is 881-1269, and my e-mail address is jdimambro@nevadaappeal.com.

My sincere thanks to all of you who have supported us in our less-than-stellar moments. I am sensitive to all of your concerns and I am personally committed to follow them through until satisfactorily corrected.


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