Three months ago, as this newspaper changed ownership, I wrote that I was excited and optimistic about the changes ahead for The Herald-Sun.
We’re about to embark on those changes -- changes that will ensure we meet the evolving needs of our readers, our digital audience, and this vibrant and growing community we serve.
Starting Monday, March 27, the first thing you will notice is the new and updated look for the newspaper. The change is aimed at making it easier for you to find the news, information, and features that mean the most to you. It also allows for a bolder presentation of the news when warranted.
Our Web site will also have a new, updated look, with easier navigation on your phone and laptop, better presentation of photos and video and more frequently updated content, We’ll be allowing viewers to sample more of our digital content each month before they decide to become a digital only, or print and digital subscriber.
The change in The Herald-Sun’s ownership to The News & Observer and McClatchy at the end of the year has allowed these operational changes to be made.
It’s also given us the opportunity to rethink some of our strategies in serving our readers. Over the coming days, weeks, and months you will see a shift in focus toward more and deeper local coverage, both digitally and in print. At the same time, our deadlines for the newspaper will be moving earlier, because of consolidating printing operations. This means coverage of late meetings or some sports results will move to our digital products.
We are also changing our Chapel Hill Herald and Durham Herald community papers. These will no longer be inserted into the Sunday paper. We expect that the deeper local content included in your daily news offering will continue to give Chapel Hill and Durham residents the local information they need to be connected in their communities.
The majority of our audience now expects live coverage of important local breaking news, and information of all sorts that will help in their daily lives to be immediate. We are committed to getting you the news and information you need, want and value when you are most likely to need it and engage with us.
We recognize that more people are reading our content from multiple sources: the newspaper, the Web site, social media and our mobile site. On digital platforms, immediacy is most important. And because of that, readers in the newspaper are no longer wanting us to tell them what went on in the world, or even locally, yesterday. The Herald-Sun newspaper will focus on providing context, insight, and analysis of local news, in addition to the puzzles, comics and other features that help make the day a little brighter.
And to our business community, we intend to be your local marketing partner, providing a connection to the audience you need for your business to thrive. We provide more avenues than ever before to connect you to your next customer, wherever they are, whoever they are and whatever they do. The Herald-Sun and our partner Nando Media stand ready to be your full-service marketing agency.
We intend for the changes here at The Herald-Sun to help us move into the future and remain a committed and integral part of this community and to continue to provide the important local journalism that no one else can. We look forward to continuing the rich history of The Herald-Sun with our readers.
Bob Ashley is editor of The Herald-Sun. You can reach him at 919-419-6678 or firstname.lastname@example.org.