Apparently the switchover to a faster Internet server has wreaked havoc across Singleton's SoCal empire. All* of the papers carry a version of the following note to readers on the front pages of their websites (this one is from the Daily News):
To our readers - Due to technical problems, some sections and regular features of the of the Daily News do not appear in today's paper and your edition may arrive late. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Indeed, it looks like the server was knocked completely off-line last night and continues to be down this morning. I'm told the morning papers look as though they were written on typewriters and that Unisys, the database reporters and editors use to actually create the paper, continues to be off-line as well.
Tim Berger, New Media Editor at the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group, sent out this memo:
There was a major failure with the main Unisys system last night and there is no indication yet when it will be restored. IT is working to bring up a backup system which, I'm told, has a lot less capacity and power than the main system and a limited number of users is allowed. Newsrooms please prepare ahead of time who is most necessary to be logged in. For now, reporters can likely write and edit stories using desktop software and e-mail them to editors. The photo department will be logged into SII for photo assignments. Send an SII message to SPEDS when you need something.
Meantime, blogs continue to be plagued by glitches - several blog links were broken when I checked them this morning, including ones trying to explain to readers what was happening. Posting new stories and comments can an hour or longer (assuming the system is even up and running).
Here's what sports reporter Fred Robledo had on his sports blog this morning:
I got a call last night that our system locked, froze or whatever, and that they couldn't get local stories in today's paper, you know, big ones like Gano "stepping away." And I'm sure you can tell we're having blog issues again, I don't even know how long it's going to take for this to post, but I'll try. For all of you that have left comments, I can see them in our system, they're just not moving over to the actual blog. When they get this fixed, I'll let you know immediately. Thanks for you patience.
Ryan Garfat, online editor at the Daily News, sent out this memo yesterday:
I have an inbox full of issues, so thank you for that. Apologies if I don't get back to you directly. It's impossible to do so with the amount of responses I am getting.
I am waiting on a request from MNGi for a status update since some of the issues we identified have not been fixed, including the preview function, some posts going up quickly- others not, the unreliability of scheduling posts and some funky commenting issues.
Once I hear from MNGi, I'll send another update. Sorry if you're sick of them, but it's the best way to keep you all informed.
*The Daily Breeze and Long Beach Press-Telegram did not have notes on their websites when I checked early this morning (maybe I didn't look in the right places), but they have added them now.
**The San Bernardino Sun has posted a more extensive editor's note on its website concerning the scope of the computer problems:
To our readers,
Because of major computer and system failures, Thursday's editions of The Sun, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and other newspapers in the Los Angeles Newspaper Group were abbreviated and missing features and certain sections. The problems have also affected our ability to post some of our news online.
We hope to have the issues resolved today.
The problem involved our main computer network for writing stories and producing pages, and was so extensive that even backup systems were largely immobilized. This forced us to use available computers and programs not connected to the network, and to reformat - and "tighten" - the newspapers in order to print them in time for distribution.
We apologize for the inconvenience, and, again, hope to have the issues resolved today.