December 24, 2013 Last Updated 7:17 am

The Christmas holiday and the memories of deadlines long past

TNM will be closed Christmas Eve through the 26th

It is at Christmas time that I miss the newspaper business the most. Not the newspaper business of today, but the pre-Internet time of the eighties, when deadlines may have occurred daily, but there was no email, only those annoying beepers (I don’t miss those).

Working at Hearst in Los Angeles was a fine way to enter the business, and despite our paper getting beaten up by the LA Times, was still loads of fun. Christmas, back then, meant a couple days off, not a whole week (or two). Christmas Eve meant getting ad copy in for the coming couple day’s papers, then starting the festivities.

In the ad department we could shut down earlier than the newsroom, even though we kept the phones open for last minute ad changes and the odd call from someone who wanted to sell their car. It might not have been Fezziwig’s, but it was close.

office-party-lgToday it is common to shutdown for a full week or more around the holidays. Ad agencies close down first, then the ad departments at publications. Those that man the newsroom at newspapers, however, deserve our thanks.

Today it is considered politically incorrect to allow alcohol in the newsroom on the holidays – I can’t imagine the early eighties at the Herald Examiner without the presence of it. The corner bar wasn’t on the corner, but directly across the side street from the building – and in the event of an emergency, the one place you could be sure to find management.

Magazine people have it easy by comparison. In B2B, the first deadline of the coming year is usually five to six weeks prior to the publication date so the big test of any magazine comes around December 1st. The Christmas holidays only interfere with the February issue. At consumer titles, that first deadline is far earlier – the holidays aren’t even a consideration.

At B2B websites, we get to shut the doors and take off. But if TNM had an actual staff, one made up of more than myself and the few contributors, I would insist on being open 24/7, even during the holidays. That would make me more a Scrooge than a Fezziwig, I suppose.

But that is not the case, so TNM is shutting down for a couple of days for the holiday. Late this week posts will start up again, but the following week will be taken up by some personal business so TNM will once again be closed down.

In the meantime, have a safe, peaceful and enjoyable Christmas holiday. And may 2014 be prosperous and personally satisfying.

TNM wishes you and your family and friends a very happy holidays.

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