Reader Advocate: Hold onto your seats, here come some changes
I know, I know. You hate changes. But let me explain why these changes are coming.
No doubt you have heard that newspaper revenues are down. Ours is down, but we are not in the dire straits some newspapers have experienced.
I won't bore you with all the details, but this is the bottom line: We have to tighten up space in the paper. After weeks of discussing where to make cuts, Tribune Editor Nancy Conway has decided the traditionally long stock listings must go. Starting Tuesday, one half page of stock information will remain. That remaining portion will feature market highlights and the stocks of local interest that we carry now.
The page of space we will save does not come at the expense of information. Information on the markets is widely available now - from the stock ticker at the bottom of the screen on CNBC to the Internet to calling your stock broker.
As Conway explains:
"The decision to cut our stock listings is an economic decision. The cost of newsprint is very high, so we have to choose carefully how we use space in the newspaper. A complete daily listing of stock activity is available to our readers any time they want it on our Web site at http://www.sltrib.com. And we will continue to carry daily listings of stocks of local interest and a daily summary of market activity in the print edition of The Salt Lake Tribune.
"It is never an easy decision to cut a feature, and this decision was long in the making and even delayed several times."
Individual stock quotes also will be available through an automated toll-free phone number, 1-800-555-8355.
You may call or e-mail me with your comments.
Changing days: It's not often that readers complain about changes before we make them, but this week some folks started griping about an upcoming change just after it was announced Thursday in Tom Wharton's column: The Outdoors section will move to Sundays starting Aug. 31.
"Oh, no," some of you wailed. "I use the Outdoors section to plan my weekends."
Well, Outdoors combined with Travel on Sundays will allow you more time to plan your weekends - and in a state synonymous with the great outdoors, you should have more time to spend with the section on Sundays.
"Outdoors is combining with Travel on Sunday because the two topics complement one another and we want to offer popular outdoors-related content on our highest circulation day. The combined Outdoors/Travel section, which will debut with a new name, will be larger than the existing Travel section on Sunday," explains Lisa Carricaburu, assistant managing editor for Features.
On Thursday, "We add another Mix section, so the paper will have The Mix, an arts and entertainment section, Monday through Friday and Sunday. Faith will remain on Saturday, and Outdoors/Travel will appear Sunday along with The Mix. Look for the new Thursday Mix section to concentrate on fashion, nightclubs, shopping, dining, entertaining, dating and weekend planning," Carricaburu says.
So, why should this move be a big deal?
Every time a newspaper changes anything, it is a big deal to readers.
In the case of the outdoors material, however, Salt Lake Tribune readers know the paper has been famous for its coverage for decades.
Wharton explains in his Thursday column:
"Though the new section will have a different look, it will contain many of the elements of both sections. Popular features such as Hook Shot, Where Is It, the birding column, Hike of the Week and Outdoor Notebook will continue. So will the travel briefs that include a top 10 list, reviews of travel-related books, Web information and new gear," Wharton writes.
The new combined section will feature local and regional events and issue-oriented reporting as well as occasional national or international travel pieces, Wharton explains.
Tribune outdoor writer Brett Prettyman and Wharton will continue to write opinion columns.
"In addition, Brett and I will soon launch a daily blog filled with news and opinion on http://www.sltrib.com, where we will comment on breaking outdoor and travel news. The hope is also to generate more interaction with readers," Wharton writes.
And, of course, the new combined section will feature the adventures of the Novices in Nature team of Maggie Thach and Roxana Orellana - a sort of "Lucy and Ethel have some 'splaining to do" after hiking, camping, rafting, kayaking, etc.
* The Reader Advocate's phone number is (801) 257-8782. Write to the Reader Advocate, The Salt Lake Tribune, 90 S. 400 West, Suite 700, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101. E-mail: reader
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