Union Democrat gets new look, fresh start

By Craig Cassidy, The Union Democrat April 04, 2012 07:32 am

Changes to our newspaper, promised six weeks ago in this editor’s column, are about to be realized.


All this week we’ll be rolling out a number of design and format changes, including the addition of new features and expanded leisure content. A re-packaged, free-standing TV section debuts on Wednesday; a new feature section, Sierra Living, appears on Thursday; and you’ll find some added content and enhancements to our popular Weekender arts and leisure section, publishing every Thursday.



Starting with today’s edition, the page width is one inch narrower than before.


This slight reduction from 12.5 inches to 11.5 inches is consistent with other newspapers in California, many of which remain narrower than our revised look.


For the first time in six years, we’ve upgraded our typefaces and added new page designs and other visual enhancements that we hope you’ll like. These changes include new headline fonts; greater use of white space and some new “caption reformatting” for photo cutlines and “pull quotes.” We believe these design changes will make our newspaper more eye-catching and provide formatting that is more fluid and better organized for readers.


Most importantly, we’re adding a new feature section we think you’ll enjoy called Sierra Living, to be published each Thursday. Features editor Margie Hiser has created an engaging and attractive section highlighting “at home activities” — gardening, home decorating, crafts, home repair and maintenance. Sierra Living complements our five-day line-up of feature sections including Monday “Health & Medicine,” Tuesday “Food and Drink,” Wednesday “Business,” and Friday “Community.”


The TV listings, formerly included inside the Weekender, are moving to a separate eight-page tabloid publishing every Wednesday. Also, the daily TV listings that have appeared in our sports section will move to the back page of section C, underneath the weather report.


Dr. Donohue, Annie’s Mailbox, and the bridge column will be found in the classifieds/legal advertising section every day.


A Thursday Weekender section with more leisure and entertainment-related content has been developed by our Weekender editor Gary Linehan. Look for more photos, more graphics, and page toppers that will help you navigate through the section.


Expect a revised and improved events calendar. You’ll also find more stories featuring outdoor recreation opportunities in our region, along with travel, books, movies and celebrities.


A lot is changing this week. We hope you like what you see as the week unfolds.


One thing that won’t change is our commitment to provide news that is relevant, essential and engaging to our readers and our community. The Union Democrat will continue to provide the broadest and most comprehensive news report in the Mother Lode.