1:35 A.M. A TuesdayErnie Booth, the operations manager of the main printing plant of The New York Times, is walking the floor. The plant is a 515,000-square-foot building in Queens, on the Van Wyck Expressway, half a mile from LaGuardia Airport. Booth is a big man with enthusiasm to match his heft, and tonight he’s wearing a collared shirt, sweater, and chinos in various shades of beige. He glides through the place like a small-town mayor, jabbing the noisy air with quick chin nods, offering ritual greetings to some of the 350 employees who work here each night.

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