Editorial anger at Archant as Olympic editions are lost

By Sarah Lagan

A production nightmare at Archant London meant that five papers
didn’t come out at all last week and were unable to carry news of the
capital’s successful Olympic bid.

It is understood the problems were caused by teething troubles with a new production system for laying out adverts.

The
paid-for weeklies that were not published were the Gravesend Reporter,
Dartford Times, Bromley Times, Bexley Times and the Barking and
Dagenham Recorder.

All of them normally come out on a Thursday
and would have carried special reports on the previous day’s news that
the Olympics were coming to East London.

One Archant London
journalist, who asked to remain anonymous, told Press Gazette: “There
are an awful lot of very angry people in editorial this week.

Editors, news editors and subs had to work very late re-doing pages because the adverts kept changing.

It was a shambles really. An utter shambles. “To make it even worse, it happened in a good news week for the Archant London papers, with London getting the Olympics.”

An
Archant spokesman said: “The disruption in London last week, combined
with some systems difficulties, resulted in a number of Archant London
titles not hitting their deadlines.”

Archant refuted claims from
one insider that staff had not received enough training to work the
system saying: “The production teething problems were related to a new
ad booking system not an editorial system.”

It is understood that
several free titles including the Gravesend Express and Dartford
Express did not come off the presses until Saturday when they were
supposed to be distributed on Wednesday.

Other papers which came
out up to a day late are understood to include the Newham Recorder,
Ilford Recorder, Islington Gazette, Camden Chronicle, Hornsey &
Crouch End Journal and the Tottenham and Woodgreen Journal.

Archant London consists of 27 weekly titles bought a year and half ago from Independent News & Media.

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