Changes bring positive feedback; there are more in store

“Thanks for doing the Snapz feature. It’s always so fun to see Mahoning Valley through the eyes of so many great photographers.”

“Your video content is a welcomed addition to, so nice work.”

“Your staff seems to be doing a great job, and the paper is as vital to the community as ever with the many local human interest stories.”

Those were comments from three Vindicator readers this week. They were reacting to various ways the changes we’re making at The Vindicator are impacting their lives in a positive way.

As early as last summer, I had high hopes on what 2009 could do for your newspaper in terms of continuing the positive changes that readers above have already noted — especially with a new press coming online that will make us as sparkling as The Plain Dealer.

We will make some great changes in 2009, but we’ll do so while maintaining a constant vigil at a bruising economy that is a fiscal tsunami of sorts on American consumers and businesses.

Two changes we are making now are part of our effort to cope with these tough economic times.

Our TV book that appears in the Saturday edition of The Vindicator took on a smaller format yesterday.

This is a continuation of the TV grid change we started in our daily newspaper Jan. 25.

That change reduced the number of lines for each show listing to one or two lines.

But we were able to increase the number of listed channels, adding popular channels such as TV Land, History Channel and even Turner Classic Movies.

There is one thing we did not do to the daily TV grid, nor its Saturday booklet counterpart.

We did not reduce the size of the type.

Let me repeat that in case you went away to a commercial:

We did not reduce the size of the type.

When the reduced grids started in the daily paper, readers called our newsroom, emphatic that we had reduced the size of the print.

Our changes in the weekly TV book are similar to the daily in terms of the lines per show. In addition:

UWe shifted the grid cycle to Saturday through Friday. It was from Sunday through Saturday.

UIn making the above shift, there is no longer a TV grid on the Saturday entertainment page, as it’s in the TV book that day. We’ll now use that daily space for more stories.

UAll the grids (morning, afternoon and evening) are still printed, as are the games and puzzles.

UWe have also moved the Soap Opera Summaries — which used to run in Sunday’s Vindicator — into the TV Week book.

All of these changes have allowed the booklet to be reduced from 24 pages to 12 pages per week. Over the course of 52 weeks, that reduction allows for thousands of dollars in savings.

Another change we’re making starts Monday with an increase in the price of the daily newspaper you buy in the store or from our newsrack.

For almost 10 years, The Vindicator has charged 35 cents for our Monday-Saturday editions.

Very few things in life have not increased in price in 10 years. As other papers surrounding us increased their daily price to 50 or 75 cents, it was important to us to keep the price as low as possible.

We’re proud to have maintained that for almost 10 years. But the economic strain is just too much for us to sustain such a bargain price.

Amid page cuts and price increases, we will still provide the best local news coverage of any media choice you have in the Valley. Period.

And while being the best in these tough times, we’ll keep evolving The Vindicator with fun new additions such as the aforementioned Snapz photo feature, online video and more human interest stories.

More like this from