A ‘stop the presses’ moment in Eugene

Romenesko reader Tim Christie emails:

The Register-Guard in Eugene (my former employer) had a “stop the presses” moment when reporting on the possible departure to the NFL of UO football coach Chip Kelly.

The writer, Adam Jude, posted this photo on Facebook, with the caption, “Front page on left from 11:55 pm. Front page on right from 12:15 am. Yes, it was a crazy night.”

They were set to go with the Kelly leaving story when they got word late he had changed his mind.

Just struck me that it’s not often reporters actually get to yell “Stop the presses!” and mean it.

Reporter Jude sends this email:

The A1 page on the left (“Kelly accepts NFL job”) was one of a handful of proofs printed before midnight. That page never actually went to the plate (and, therefore, wasn’t distributed to readers), an incorrect assumption that others have reported. The “Kelly accepts NFL job” was, however, published on our website for about an hour before Kelly’s literal 11th-hour change of heart.

Sports editor Mark Johnson adds:

Reporter Adam Jude and columnist George Schroeder did a fantastic job working the story during the day and into the evening — calling sources, tracking leads, etc. The story took a few twists and turns late, and a solid source told us very late that Kelly had decided to take the NFL job. Our front page was initially designed to reflect that updated info. However, minutes later and at deadline, the same source told us that Kelly had changed his mind and was staying. Because of the importance of the story, we were able to hold the press until we could plate the final version (actually, three stories needed to be rewritten).