March 18, 2009
Starting today, readers will see a slimmed-down Commercial Dispatch with a fresh, new look.
Like many newspapers across the country, The Dispatch is switching to a narrower newsprint sheet in response to economic pressures. However, going from a 12 1/2-inch page to an 11-inch one will also make the paper easier to handle.
Besides changing the width of the newspaper, we''re also using this opportunity to provide our readers with an easier-to-read typeface and a cleaner, airier design.
This is the first major redesign for The Dispatch since May 1999. And, we''re not making these changes lightly. They''ve entailed hours of studying other newspapers, creating mockups of every page and "tweaking" the final product.
Credit for the new design goes to Managing Editor Steve Mullen. Tina Perry, our computer, prepress maestro, deserves a pat on the back, as well.
We think our new design will serve as a complement to our recently redesigned Web site, www.cdispatch.com.
Obviously, the narrower pages will mean some reduction in space, which is leading to the elimination of some features. Starting today, the daily comics page will no longer include "Hagar the Horrible," "Shoe," "Pooch Café," "F-Minus," "The Rubes" and "Bizarro." The Sunday comics section will not be changed, however.
We realize some readers will be sorry to see some favorite comics go, but we have tried to keep the daily lineup as diverse as possible so we can have something everyone will enjoy.
Another change will be the elimination of the Sunday TV Guide. Instead, we will include TV listings inside each day''s newspaper on a new TV page. While we realize many readers will miss the TV Guide, it has not been popular with advertisers, and it has been costly to print.
The changes we and other newspapers around the country are making are part of a worldwide trend toward thrift and cost-consciousness as businesses everywhere work to meet the demands of the marketplace.
Like all businesses, newspapers must make a profit to survive, and the only income sources for papers are advertising and circulation -- home subscriptions and individual sales in news racks. The Dispatch, like most newspapers today, features advertising in its print and online editions.
We have kept our newsstand cost and our subscription fees remarkably low, despite years of inflation in the cost of paper, ink and nearly every other supply needed to put together your daily paper.
We at The Dispatch, along with other local newspapers around the country, are doing our part to make sure we continue to be your local voice. Local newspapers are the watchdogs for their communities -- covering meetings, voicing opinions and keeping you informed about the news of your hometown, whether it be a City Council meeting, last night''s high school football game or a calendar of upcoming activities.
There''s an old saying that this is a business in which anyone who has the cost of a newspaper is a stockholder. We believe that to be true.
We also believe that we provide a valuable service to you, our readers. We hope you enjoy our new look. We value your input so please feel free to share your thoughts about the redesign with us. We are here to serve you.
We are your hometown newspaper.