Tag Archives: Redesigns

WaPo CEO defends decision to cut standalone business section

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Washington Post Co. CEO Donald Graham defended his company’s decision to put business news inside its paper’s A section instead of giving it a standalone section in a speech Tuesday to the Economic Club of Washington.

Dow Jones Newswires reporter Judith Burns writes, “Graham defended the Post’s decision to end its standalone business section, saying he thinks that business stories are ‘significantly more widely read now’ that they appear in the main section of the paper. He added that market turmoil and a weak economy might be contributing to the spike in readership of business news stories.”

The Post cuts its standalone business section in March 2009. Since that time, the Post cut a deal with Bloomberg News where the wire service is now providing a lot of the paper’s non-Washington business coverage.

Other large metro newspapers that have cut their standalone business sections include the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, Orange County Register, St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Tribune, The (Raleigh) News & Observer, Denver Post, Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal, Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal, Monterey (Calif.) Herald, Palm Beach Post and Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal.

However, on Tuesday, the San Jose Mercury News announced internally that it was bringing back its standalone section.

Read more here.

San Jose Mercury News returning to standalone biz section next week

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

San Jose Mercury News editor Dave Butler sent the following announcement to the paper’s staff on Tuesday evening:

“I am pleased to announce that as of next week will be returning to a stand-alone Business section every day of the week! (Or at least, that’s the plan!)

“As you all know, we moved Business into the Local News section on some days because of newshole, advertising and production issues. Well, we seem to have addressed those matters and our friends in the make-up department tell us that they believe they can dummy a paper each day that has Business as a stand-alone section, with full-color on the cover. Unfortunately, it may well be just 4 pages on some days and none of us likes a section that small. And like now, there are some days when it must be printed in the pre-run.

“But, we promised to do this at our earliest opportunity and so that’s what we’re doing. The vacationing Steve Trousdale should be pleased upon his return.”

The paper becomes the third major metro daily that cut its standalone business section to return the section. Last year, the Chicago Tribune brought back its business section after a redesign of the entire paper had cut it. And the Orange County Register returned its standalone section from Thursday through Saturday.

OC Register launching RE section

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

During a time when many daily newspapers are cutting back on the space devoted to business and financial news, the Orange County Register newspaper is slated to debut a new real estate section this Sunday.

The section, called “Real Estate” after initially being called “O.C. Homes,” will have as much news hole as many daily metros devote to regular business news on the weekend.

“We’re not cutting. This is expansion, and it’s local content. That excites me. I hope it catches on,” said Register real estate columnist Jon Lansner. The new section is his brainchild, according to business team leader Julie Gallego.

Talking Biz News obtained a copy of a prototype dated April 1, 2010. The prototype is a 16-page section with 10 pages of ads. One page included median home prices for each zip code in the Orange County market, including sales data for each zip code as well. Another feature took a look at the market for foreclosed homes in the area.

The regularly Sunday business section, which is primarily content from the Sunday Wall Street Journal, will remain and has space for late-breaking or significant staff-produced stories. “Real Estate” will include content from the paper’s popular real estate blogs, where staffers post at least three times a day.

The biggest hurdle in creating the section is converting some of the business section’s Web content into a printed version.

“Most exciting to me — besides the potential for this to be a moneymaking cooperative venture between the newsroom and advertising — is the potential for this to solve some production challenges we have struggled with since going ‘web first’ a few years ago; namely how to get what we write each day on our blogs easily into print,” said Gallego in an e-mail. “And how to make it an attractive section for newspaper readers who don’t read news on our Website. The result is broader cooperative effort between newsgatherers, print team designers, editors and our tech team.”

The new section, said Lansner, “is based off the fact that we have six real estate blogs and more real estate news than we know what to do with.” He called real estate news “religion” for Southern California consumers.

The paper has five out of its nine full-time business journalists covering real estate. There’s reporter Jeff Collins, Huntington Beach real estate reporter Marilyn Kalfus, south beach cities real estate reporter Kelli Hart, and Irvine housing reporter Erika Chavez, currently on maternity leave. Real estate finance reporter Matthew Padilla recently left for a communications job at PIMCO, but his position will be filled.

Gallego said that the advertising department, which was part of a task force that created the section, has committed to selling ads for the new section.

NC paper drops stock listings

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Lee Barnes, the editor of the Hickory Daily Record in North Carolina, writes Sunday about the decision to drop printed stock listings from the paper.

Barnes writes, “Did you notice that we no longer have the stock market listings in our newspaper?

“Judging by reader response, you probably didn’t. We had 30 people call to complain. That’s well under 1 percent of our readers.

“Any regular feature in our paper that attracts less than 1 percent of our readership would be considered a dismal failure, but this decision was different. Those 30 callers were older, loyal readers who don’t have home computers, or prefer not to use them.

“In this electronic age, stocks reports are one of two things that newspapers do poorly. When you pick up your paper in the morning, those stocks listings have already been available for free on the Internet for more than 12 hours.”

Read more here. Disclosure: I have been a trainer on business news coverage for the Hickory Daily Record in the past three months and worked with Barnes at the Tampa Tribune.

Release the pounds!!!

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Los Angeles Times reader representative Deirdre Edgar writes about changes made to the paper recently in the wake of reader complaints.

Edgar writes, “Cuts to the Daily Market Roundup in the Business section have drawn a number of calls and e-mails as well. One specific source of puzzlement was the elimination of the British pound in the foreign currencies list.

“Claudia Albert called to say, ‘In your new Business section, I’m not sure why you don’t think the British pound is important in the currencies.’

“And Sara Lafare wrote, ‘How can you possibly have a section on currencies and leave out pound sterling?? Only one of the most important currencies in the world. (I’m not British.)’

“That omission is being fixed, and the pound will again be listed starting Friday.”

Read more here.

Changes at "Nightly Business Report"

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Toluse Olorunnipa of the Miami Herald writes Saturday about the changes that were made to the PBS show “Nightly Business Report” at the beginning of the year, noting some viewers are upset with the changes.

Olorunnipa writes, “The changes, which include fancier graphics, an increased focus on market analysis and less raw data detailing stock performances, come in the wake of the retirement of Paul Kangas, who co-anchored the show for 30 years.

“NBR’s production team said the revised look and format are part of an attempt to make Nightly Business Report more useful for the 21st Century viewer, since most people no longer have to wait until dinnertime to learn what had happened in the stock market on a particular day.

“‘We wanted to create a program that was as relevant to today’s audience as the program was relevant to the audience that began with the program back in 1979,’ said Rodney Ward, the show’s executive producer. ‘We wanted to do a program that focused more on the analysis rather than just the facts and give people the `why’ of what happened.’

“The new show features longer interviews with economists and political leaders, more commentators fleshing out the details of economic data and the extension of analytical series like ‘Climate Economy,’ which looks at how businesses are dealing with climate change.”

Read more here.

Ex-Time art director helping with BusinessWeek redesign

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Keith Kelly of the New York Post reports that Arthur Hochstein, the former art director at Time magazine, is headed to work for Bloomberg as a consultant on a redesign of its recently acquired BusinessWeek magazine.

Kelly writes, “Hochstein’s predecessor, BusinessWeek Art Director Andrew Horton, left the magazine Friday, after having joined in 2007 and worked with former editor Steve Adler on the mag’s last redesign.

“Hochstein was part of the team that won a National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2007 and an award in 2002 for Time’s 9/11 coverage. He will continue doing some consulting work for Time Inc. Hochstein actually stepped down as Time’s art director at the end of last year, and was replaced by his deputy, D.W. Pine.

“In the weeks ahead, sources said more Time Inc. people are expected to jump on the Bloomberg train as Time Inc. staff look to reunite with Bloomberg Chief Content Officer Norm Pearlstine, a former Time Inc. editor.”

Rochester paper makes changes to business section

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Steve Sink, the business editor of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, writes Sunday about changes being made to the paper’s business coverage.

Sink writes, “To shine a light on these entrepreneurs, we’re beginning a weekly series, Our New Economy, that will run for several Sundays. We’ll follow that with a series on … well, we want you to tell us what subject we should tackle in the next set of stories.

“BusinessLife also welcomes Enid Arbelo, the Democrat and Chronicle’s Young Professionals editor, who will write a weekly column that debuts today on Page 3E.

“Other changes include:

Read more here.

College paper adds business section

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The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student newspaper, The Royal Purple, has added a business section, according to a brief story on its Web site.

Editor Sarah Kloepping writes, “Last semester, the student-run newspaper tested a sample section to gain reader feedback about making it a permanent edition.

“‘There was an overwhelmingly positive response from students,’ Managing Editor Tyler Lamb said. ‘The business section will allow the Royal Purple to reach an untapped area of campus as we attempt to cover a wider variety of student life.’

“Business Editor Grant Nelson said he hopes the readers find the sections interesting and useful.

“‘The business section will be a great addition to the Royal Purple, because the business school makes up an important part of UW-Whitewater,’ he said. ‘With so many student organizations in the College of Business and Economics it can be difficult to keep up with all of their activities, and this section will provide coverage of the events that often times go unnoticed around campus.’”

Read more here.

Prairie Business magazine undergoes overhaul

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Ryan Schuster, the editor of North Dakota-based Prairie Business magaizne, writes about the changes to the publication in the latest issue. The magazine covers both Dakotas and western Minnesota.

Schuster writes, “The changes include a new Business Briefs page of short news items, graphics and elements and a By The Numbers page of economic indicators at the back of the magazine, which will continue to grow and evolve in future months.

“Regular readers of the magazine will notice that we have made some changes to the monthly Prairie People and Industry Progress features. The three-page Prairie People feature of briefs has been shortened to one page focusing on people, namely awards, new jobs and promotions earned by executive-level business leaders. The remaining news brief items that have been appearing in Prairie People and Industry Progress have been combined into a new two-page feature called Prairie News.

“By separating the people-related announcements and awards from more traditional business news like the construction of a new wind farm, we hope to make the magazine more focused, less cluttered and easier to navigate.

“Another major change is the presentation of the Q&A feature with women business leaders. The monthly series of interviews with one woman manager each from North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota has been replaced by a half-page Women in Business Q&A with a female business leader from our three-state coverage area. The full-page Q&A with a regional business leader that we have been experimenting with in recent months will also become a regular monthly feature, space permitting.”

Read more here.