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Weekly’s editions withdrawn after technical fault

A major technical failure affecting Northcliffe titles in the South East has resulted in three editions of a weekly paper having to be reprinted.

HTFP reported yesterday that the Crawley News would be a day late arriving at retailers after the editorial system used to produce papers in the region went down for most of the day on Tuesday.

Now it has emerged that there have been problems at the Surrey Mirror where three editions of the paper – the Caterham Mirror, the Mirror’s Tandridge edition and the Horley & Gatwick Mirror – were withdrawn from sale yesterday and had to be reprinted.

The publisher was also unable to provide separate editions for the Dorking Advertiser and the Leatherhead Advertiser, so the Dorking title was printed with the Leatherhead masthead on it.

The problems were caused by the failure of a data card at Virgin Media’s Essex centre and Northcliffe regional managing director Richard Karn said high-level discussions were now taking place with the firm about the impact it has had.

He said: “In Surrey, pages of the Mirror corrupted and our printers did their best to cope with this, however the decisions taken resulted in three editions being created from an inappropriate core edition.

“With their full support and assistance the editions have been taken off sale and will be reprinted overnight and in the shops in their proper form on Friday.

“It has been an extremely challenging week for us and we are engaged in high-level discussions with our suppliers, Virgin Media, regarding the impact that these technical failures have had for our readers.

“Our local staff together with our production and distribution suppliers have responded magnificently throughout and we have to set our frustration at these individual glitches having occurred against the very real prospect that titles may not have appeared at all.”

Richard added that the publication of just one Advertiser paper for Dorking and Leatherhead was the “best service we could provide for readers” taking into account the technical problems experienced.

He added: “The content inside is what readers would have expected. It is however all printed under one title, rather than being separately titled.”