Mark Travis: New comics, new puzzle, and a farewell to Goren
The latest set of changes in the Monitor this fall are appearing now, with adjustments in our puzzle and comics lineup.
You’ll find the award-winning comic strip Baby Blues leading off our Sunday Comics supplement today and will see it on our daily comics page beginning tomorrow. A few old friends – Shoe, Marvin and Dennis the Menace – are gone. Tomorrow, Bizarro will have a new home on the comics page, moving from Classifieds.
We’re adding a new puzzle in Classifieds tomorrow called 7 Little Words, a close second-place finisher to KenKen when we presented readers with an array of choices earlier this year. Alas, tomorrow we’ll run Goren Bridge for the last time.
What are we up to? Trying to keep our content as fresh and broadly appealing as we can, while saving some money in the process.
I know these changes won’t be welcomed by all readers. Newspaper readership is a matter of habit, and everything in the paper is of interest to some – or at least we hope it is. Still, the times are changing too, and rapidly, and it’s important that we change with them.
Our two new local sections – The Forum and Hometown – are now a couple weeks old and seem to be connecting with readers, as we had hoped. We’re even getting news in haiku submissions!
I’ve gotten a few calls from readers looking for the daily summary of stock market activity. We’ve dropped that from the paper, on the theory that the information is widely available elsewhere and that our Nation & World space is better devoted to other news. When market activity is particularly noteworthy, we’ll get a story in the paper.
We’ve received more calls about the reduction in sports agate, and specifically pro box scores. Here again, this information is widely available elsewhere, and in real time; we’re reallocating space and effort toward local sports content – and exciting results are beginning to appear.
One new feature – a weekly power ranking of high school teams called Pound for Pound – debuted Friday. We’ve launched an online sports blog. This week we’ll introduce a high school notebook and a print and video spotlight on a young athlete.
It’s all part of a process intended to keep the paper lively and interesting, and the local content broad and strong. We are listening to the calls we get and are always thinking about how to adjust what we know are disruptive changes in response to what we hear.
If you’d like to express your thoughts, I can be reached at 369-3250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much for making the Monitor part of your daily life – and for caring about it as you do.
(Mark Travis is the Monitor’s publisher and executive editor.)