Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram - now the size of a 1970's advertising insert

From The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.    I've put the only words that matter in bold print:

The version of the Star-Telegram published Monday represents months of work and millions of dollars spent to improve the legibility of the paper. In addition to a new design for our pages, we're completing one of the biggest press upgrades in our history.

To make it easier to find your favorite sections, we've color-coded them: The local section is red, Sports is blue, Work & Money is green, and Your Life is orange. We've also used blue on the front page to highlight the Star-Telegram name.

Classified sections are teal and have been completely redesigned with larger type and an easier-to-read format that includes wider columns.

The new typeface we have chosen for articles is the same size as what we've been using, but it prints larger. The typeface, called Quiosco, was specially designed to improve readability on narrower pages.

Our new design will also improve legibility by reducing the practice of putting small type on gray or color backgrounds.

To improve our reproduction, the Star-Telegram is upgrading the presses, replacing much of the equipment that we've used for more than a decade.

We're also switching to a higher grade of newsprint. Although there may be a short breaking-in process, the visual result should be readily apparent to our readers in the next several weeks.

Because the printed page is more compact -- and easier to handle as a result -- we've had to move some comics, daily features and puzzles to maintain their size.

Go here to see what the front page looks like now.  It's kind of a milder USA Today. 

There isn't as much of it, but they're giving it their best shot.  The Tim Madigan/Ron Ennis series on local neurosurgeon Dave Donahue is one of the best I've read in a while. 

Maybe the Star-Telegram will make it.  Hope so.  Sometimes you have to cut back before you can grow. 


Harper said...

Every member of my family has had their "WTF is this" moment when they looked at the FWST this week. It was especially noticeable on Monday, since we still had the Sunday paper on the table for comparison.

I agree about the Donahue story. Great read, but they are really stretching it out.

There is one thing I like about the new paper format. They put the comics in alphabetical order. That works well in my brain.

vampE said...

One former ST journalist called is a cross between USA Today and a Chinese take-out menu.

Yes, it's silly looking compared to the usual drab black and white newspapers of yesteryear, and it's gotten even smaller, but let's just boil this down:

1) easier-to-read font,
2) larger comics,
3) larger puzzles.

Hmmm, I wonder who their target market is? I wonder who are the only people in the world NOT reading newspapers online? Oh, that's right, people who need reading glasses, who work puzzles, and grew up reading comics.

The reporters still have jobs. The printing people have newer, smaller presses to run.

I'm OK with it.

P.S. Numerous friends of mine, former writers for the ST who, thank goodness, are still making a living, are meeting tonight for a "wake" for Star Time/Go.

Anonymous said...

I think it's tacky. It reminds me of the Weekly Reader we used to get in elementary school.

I support the writers and local reporting - but why do they have to make the product so ugly now?

- anonymous female reader, age 32.