Only a few newspapers had rolled off the Rapid City Journal's printing press Tuesday between 12:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. Wednesday, when a bearing on the press exploded, stopping production.

Journal print subscribers were met with nothing when they went to retrieve their morning papers.

Publisher Shannon Brinker said the reaction from customers has been courteous.

"Our readers, the majority of them, were incredibly supportive,"  Brinker said Wednesday. "They know that this is an unusual situation. They typically get their paper on time every day."

A replacement bearing bought from the local Whisler Bearing Co. was already in hand by 7 a.m., and after repairs were made to the damaged shaft that the bearing rests on, papers were rolling off the press by 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

About half of Journal print subscribers received their papers Wednesday afternoon and evening; the rest should get Wednesday's paper bundled with today's. A free e-edition was available online Wednesday to all subscribers.

"Usually, this late of a start would have more to do with weather or a blizzard," Brinker said, adding this sort of delay doesn't happen often for the Journal. "It's definitely been more than a year," she said, referring to the last time delivery was delayed significantly. "But this isn't something that's incredibly uncommon for newspapers."

Brinker praised the newspaper's staff for working hard to get the paper together and in the hands of readers.

"All of our staff pulled together," Brinker said. Journal staffers from outside the production facility pitched in at the press plant, she said. "I'm over here working. Our advertising staff is over here. Our IT manager is over here."

Contact Aaron Orlowski at 484-7069 or

(1) comment


Great job by the get hit by a once in a lifetime challenge and still be able to get papers out the same day!

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