Today's commentary page column:
Readers of our Austin edition have told us they appreciate the way we’ve zeroed in on local news.
People read newspapers for a million reasons, but we know the top reasons are local news and local advertising. In our Austin edition, we’ve moved virtually all the local news into the A section to give it the strongest possible priority for readers. Austin area readers get our regular Local/Region section with Rochester and state news, but all the Austin and Mower County news is in the A section.
How do we know readers like the change? For one thing, the Austin edition is selling like hotcakes. We’ve added about 500 readers this year in Austin and at least part of that increase can be chalked up to changes we’ve made in news.
Which leads us to wonder — should we do the same thing in the Rochester edition as well?
We’d make the A section all local and regional news, along with business and the opinion pages.
The B section cover would also include local news and features such as the Greg Sellnow column and You Asked. Obituaries would remain on Page 2B. The rest of the section would be for national and world news.
Top nation and world news would still be reported on the front page, obviously, with more coverage inside B.
What’s the upshot? More local and regional news, in the section where you’d expect to find our best stuff. You might see somewhat less world news in the B section, but not if we manage our wire report and news space well.
So tell us what you think. Send me an e-mail or a note, or go to Post-Bulletin Online and click on our Back Talk survey question.
COMIC SHUFFLE: On Monday, the classic “Calvin and Hobbes” returns to our comics page for a four-month engagement, and as you’re hopefully aware, that means other changes in our comics lineup as well.
“Calvin” will move into our daily comics, as will the popular new strip “Pearls Before Swine.” Making a graceful exit from our page will be “Cathy” and “Beetle Bailey.”
Because we want to feature “Calvin” at the top of the page, we’re rearranging a few other comics, but don’t worry — the rest of our regular lineup is there.
Beginning on Saturday, Sept. 10, “Calvin” will appear on the front of our color comics. That means “Get Fuzzy” and “Baby Blues” will move inside, along with “Pearls Before Swine” and the weekend “Pickles” strip, which we previously haven’t run. To make room for the latter, we’re dropping “Heathcliff” from the weekend comics. That strip doesn’t appear in the daily comics, so we thought that was fair game for discontinuing.
Our apologies in advance for causing some disorientation as you read the comics next week. After a day or two, you’ll hopefully know your way around the page and find some new favorites.
Jay Furst is the Post-Bulletin’s managing editor. To comment, send a note to email@example.com or to P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55904. Also check his Web log at www.postbulletin.com.