BRIEFS

Apparent malware attack disrupts production at several GateHouse Media dailies in Florida

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An apparent malware attack at a GateHouse Media production facility in Daytona, Florida halted the printing and delivery of several Florida newspapers in early April.

The affected newspapers included the Ocala Star-Banner, The Florida Times-Union, The Gainesville Sun and The St. Augustine Record.

In a note to readers in the Ocala and Gainesville papers, Executive Editor and General Manager Douglas Ray said, “Critical production issues forced the Ocala Star-Banner to shift printing of Monday’s edition to Lakeland, so copies of newspapers were not available in time for distribution Monday morning. Work to fix the problems continued through the day on Monday, but the newspaper was printed again in Lakeland to ensure production could be complete in time for distribution Tuesday. Home delivery subscribers should receive Monday’s edition along with Tuesday’s.”

Ray noted that deadlines for the Star-Banner “had to be moved earlier to accommodate the amount of work shifting to the Lakeland press.” As a result, late-breaking sports news that Monday night—including the NCAA men’s basketball championship—did not make the Tuesday paper.

The disruption came just as the Star-Banner was planning to consolidate its Tuesday editions from four sections to two. Editions on other days of the week were to keep their current formats.