Thursday, May 7, 2009

Readers react to narrower newspaper

This week, the size of the Bradenton Herald's print edition changed. It's now on a narrower page. Little was lost in content, thanks to the wizardry of Presentation Editor Jennifer Conklin, who rebuilt all the templates used to produce each page.

Publisher Bob Turner wrote a short column introducing the changes, noting that the classified section was redesigned into a format that's actually much easier to read. I thought I'd share some of the feedback we've received -- good and bad. The good news: Most of you responded positively, noting that belt-tightening was happening everywhere. And you had some helpful suggestions, particularly on the Money & Markets page. Thanks to your feedback, we restored commodities, foreign exchange and treasuries/bonds starting today. (And that amazingly popular little item – the telephone stocks!) Another frequent question was on the size of type. The answer: It's exactly the same, not any smaller.

Sure, some of the comments were downright nasty, and that always stings. I know we’re messing with a daily habit, which is why we put so much work into making the change as seamless as possible. But hurtful comments don't help; we're listening to your suggestions and will try to accommodate as much as possible.

Here’s a sampling of your emails, including those that helped us revise the markets page.

“I have been a subscriber since moving to Florida from Ohio in 2002, and have
enjoyed the local news coverage as well as business coverage…
With the nosedive of the stock market in the fall of 2008, I sold all my stock holdings
and kept my bond holdings. Accordingly until the stock market recovers, the
primary item I checked on a daily basis was the Interest Rates table. Now with
the new format the Interest Rates table has been dropped. Is it possible to
reinstate that table? I believe many other investors have also dropped their
stock holdings and may also be missing the Interest Rates.”

Just wanted to say that.....I LIKE IT!!!......the new design. It's easier to handle and
hopefully it's saving you money so that you can stick around. I would not like
to lose my BH morning paper.

I miss the section of the world currency the Euro and all the other currencies. We do a lot of traveling thru out the world, and I like to keep up on their currency. Otherwise, nice format of the paper and interesting! Keep up the good work!
An avid reader

Thank you for making ALL the classified ads easier to read.

Ever since you folks have reduced your TV guide to a point where some late movies can be missed because you have not listed them anywhere... I knew more cuts would be coming. When the time comes, I will really consider whether to purchase another yearly subscription to your paper or cut you out.

Over the years I have been a big booster of your paper. It is apparent however that these economic times are taking its toll. Truly the paper is much less of its former self. I for one liked the older version and size and hope that one day you will be able to revert back to it... Please keep in mind what this newspaper looked like a short
two years ago and work to getting back to that standard when times afford.

I really like the size of your new format. It is easier to handle and pictures are more pronounced. Who says adding economy can’t improve something??!! Great Job!


Let us know what you think, too. We are listening.


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