Hundreds of thousands of New York Times subscribers didn’t get their papers Friday morning, with the company blaming a power outage at its printing plant in Queens.
The snafu at the printing facility in College Point affected about 200,000 customers — nearly 40 percent of the Times’ circulation nationwide — “across the tri-state area,” the company said.
“Delivery in Manhattan and New York City boroughs may be several hours late, with next-day deliveries in some cases” the Grey Lady told confused print subscribers in an e-mail that many of them didn’t receive until the afternoon.
“Delivery outside of the city will be mostly next day,” the paper added.
Of those who did get their papers on Friday, some Manhattan buildings said their copies were dumped in stacks in their lobby several hours late instead of getting door-to-door delivery.
Retailers and newsstands also missed getting their deliveries in time for morning commuters.
Across the tri-state region, the Alliance for Audited Media reports the Times has a print circulation of 356,391 — which includes 232,616 paid circulation in New York state, 81,787 in New Jersey and 41,988 in Connecticut.
Adding in national customers, the Times’ average paid weekday print circulation is 509,584.
The outage also will wreak havoc on the paper’s hefty weekend edition, as the Times typically begins advance delivery of some preprinted sections in its Sunday paper on Friday. The company has 1,077,116 national print customers for its Saturday/Sunday editions.
Mitchell’s NY, a contractor that handles home deliveries in Manhattan, confirmed the troubles in an e-mail to customers on Friday.
“All newspaper deliveries are delayed at least three hours,” Mitchell’s said. “Please check with your building staff as newspapers might be in the lobby due to parking issues at the later delivery time.”
The delay meant that the Grey Lady almost missed appearing on the influential “In the Papers” segment hosted by Pat Kiernan on NY1. “Still waiting for our papers @NY1. Delivery company says presses rolled late, he tweeted as Kiernan was getting ready to go live at 6 am. Nearly a half hour after the show went live, at 6:25 am he tweeted “Times FINALLY here.”
Not everyone in the outer boroughs was lucky. Barbara Ann Rogers in Brooklyn was still without a paper at 10:26 when she tweeted, “Wow. Power outage @nytimes printing plant means papers delivered late or tomorrow. And here I was getting angry at my delivery person who for once has an excuse.”
Presumably advertisers whose ads did not reach consumers on time can request a make-good, but a Times spokeswoman had not confirmed that by press time.
Rumors that the power outage was caused by a fire at the plant were dismissed by the Times. The FDNY said they had no reports of responding to a situation on Thursday evening or Friday.