Daily paper’s organization changing

Nov. 02, 2013 @ 01:02 PM

We’re about to roll out a change in the organization of your daily Herald-Sun. I think it will make it easier to find familiar features and will continue our increasing emphasis on what we think is the most distinctive news we can bring to you – news from and about the Durham-Chapel Hill-Hillsborough areas.

A bit of background. For many years, The Herald-Sun has been printed daily in an even number of sections, and those sections were paired on our presses. That meant that in a four-section paper, the A and C sections had to have the same number of pages, as did the B and D sections.  Until recently, that was how your paper was configured nearly every day.

In the past several months, as our classified advertising volume has rebounded – a good thing – that has been more difficult.  To avoid a bloated B section balancing, for example, a D section filled with several pages of classified ads, we’ve published the paper in two sections.

That has had advantages, but a major disadvantage is that popular features have moved around a bit as we’ve tried to most efficiently use space.

So beginning this week, we’ll be publishing the paper in three sections, five days a week – Tuesday through Saturday.  The lifestyle “ and more” sections – Schools, Food, Faith, Entertainment and Home & Garden – will  be the third, or C, section, which will include classified advertising. That section will be printed earlier than the other sections – eliminating the need to balance a fourth section each night. As a side benefit, it will mean that section can be used to hold preprinted inserts, avoiding an extra four-page wrapper for that purpose.

With this change, those feature sections will be easier to find every day. They’ve often been pages grouped inside the A section, moving around from day to day.

Obituaries, a regular visit for many readers every day, also have bounced around some in the two-section format. Beginning Tuesday (our first three-section paper), they will move to page 4 of the first, or A section, every day. 

The editorial page will be the next-to-last page of the A section Monday through Saturday. Puzzles and comics will be the last inside pages of the B section. Weather, the daily television schedule and “People in the News” will be on the back of the B section.

I hope the changes make the paper more predictable and easier to use each day. Let me know what you think.

A couple other changes to mention, both involving heraldsun.com, our on-line edition:

After some dormancy following a change in our on-line infrastructure, breaking news alerts have returned – along with a daily newsletter of major stories and features on-line and in print each day.

You can sign up for those at www.heraldsun.com, and look on the home page. The breaking news alerts will be emailed as we report breaking news. The newsletter will be in your inbox around 3 a.m. each day.

And, with the onset of basketball season, we’ll add a successor to our prep-football “Game Day” video feature, in which prep reporters John McCann and Mark Donovan have offered their insights on the week’s major high-school football games.

Our basketball report – weekly, at least initially – will feature reporters Steve Wiseman and Harold Gutmann talking about the upcoming games with Duke and UNC.  The first episode will be posted on our website Friday, the day Duke hosts Davidson and UNC hosts Oakland to open their regular seasons.

I hope you’ll click on and enjoy.