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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, July 24, 2005

TGIF section is fun but hard work

By Anne Harpe


Week in and week out, The Advertiser's TGIF staff writes about the fun stuff of life.

Concerts, theater, movies, dance, eating out, festivals, art shows, ethnic programs, nature walks, lounge acts, community gatherings and storytelling. All that and more fills the pages of the TGIF section each Friday.

The goal of the TGIF staff is to provide readers with information on what there is to do for fun and entertainment over the weekend and beyond, whether you are on a limited budget or ready to splurge.

The hundreds of listings that flow in each week are testament to the number of events that crowd local calendars.

That also means a hectic production schedule for the TGIF staff.

Covers and cover stories are planned weeks out in most cases, but the weekly production cycle of assembling each week's section starts on Wednesday for the following week's TGIF.

On Wednesday afternoon and Thursday, TGIF editor Debra Yuen and her staff compile listings for the What's UP pages at the back of the section. Those pages are then put together by the graphics department over the weekend.

On Fridays, TGIF art director Nick Gervais starts the cover page for the next Friday. He, however, typically has been thinking about it for days and figuring out the art and photo possibilities.

Stories are edited through Tuesday afternoons and sometimes even until Wednesday mornings for that Friday's edition. Most of the local stories — written mostly by entertainment writers Wayne Harada and Derek Paiva — are turned in on Fridays, Mondays and Tuesdays. The restaurant review is due on Friday. Material from news services and syndicates, such as Roger Ebert's reviews, the DVD column and some music features, come in on Tuesdays.

June Yago compiles the TGIF calendar throughout the week as information comes in, but the calendar for each week's TGIF must be completed on the Monday before publication. Last-minute updates can be made up to Wednesday mornings.

The pages for TGIF are put together on Monday night and all day Tuesday. Pages are proofread on Wednesdays, and the last page must be sent to the prepress production department by 6 p.m. Wednesday. The press run for the section is Thursday morning.

On Thursday, the cycle starts again.

In deciding on cover topics, the TGIF staff tries to look for a mix of events throughout the year.

But often, says Yuen, it is the scope of an event that will determine its play in the section. A concert by pop diva Janet Jackson is a given as a cover story. Ditto for the Hawaii International Film Festival. A stage event that has resonance for youngsters and adults alike — Honolulu Theatre for Youth's hip-hop version of "Othello," was a cover story in 2002 — also would qualify. That's what put "Pirates of Penzance" on the cover last Friday.

The volume of copy the section handles means there are firm deadline requirements for submissions.

To be listed in the TGIF calendar, information about events — times, dates, place, admission fee if any, a phone number we can publish — must be submitted at least 10 working days before publication.

For example, if the event is happening Aug. 20-25, we would include it in the Aug. 19 issue of TGIF and would like to have the details by Aug. 5.

Details on how to get listed are on Page 2 of TGIF each week.