We have moved The News & Observer’s local news and business report, which had been in the Triangle & Co. section, into the A section Monday through Saturday.
Six days a week, The N&O will have three sections – news, sports and features. The Sunday paper will remain largely the same with some minor tweaks.
Here are some questions and answers about why we are making this and other changes:
Q: Why merge your two news sections into one?
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A: We want to use every inch of our space to bring you news. One larger section gives us more flexibility than two smaller ones; we can more easily move stories and ads to adjust to the news of the day. We will reduce the number of filler ads and wire stories so that we can bring you news that’s important to you. We also will reduce some newsprint costs, which helps us invest in news coverage.
Q: What will this do to local news?
A: At the heart of The N&O’s mission is reporting about the Triangle and North Carolina. With this change, we will emphasize local news and our columnists more on the front page. When you open the first section, pages 2 and 3 will be devoted to news from the Triangle and North Carolina, including the Under the Dome political column. Dennis Rogers, our beloved columnist who retired in 2007, will return and write one column a month. Josh Shaffer, who specializes in offbeat stories, will add a second column each week. Barry Saunders will continue to write three columns a week, and Rob Christensen still will write two columns a week.
Q: Are you adding any other content?
A: In terms of new content, the biggest changes will be in Monday’s print paper. We will add a second opinion page on Mondays; it will include commentary representing a variety of viewpoints. We also will add space in our new Sports Monday section for more coverage of college football and basketball; columnist Barry Jacobs will write for this section. On the TV page, we will add daily advice from Brooke Cain, the lead writer for our “Happiness is a Warm TV” blog, on the best shows to watch. Birthdays and Today in History also will move to the TV page. Teresa Leonard’s “Past Times” column will move to Life, etc. We also will add a twice-a-month Book Beat column on local authors to the Sunday Arts & Living section.
Q: Are there any other changes?
A: Yes. In the features section, we will replace the Aces bridge column six days a week with three new puzzles: Hidato and KenKen (number puzzles) and Whatzit (a word puzzle). The bridge column will continue to run on Sundays. Some Monday pages will move. The Mini Page will move to the back of Sports Monday. Thumbs Up, our coverage of youth achievement, will move to the back of the A section. Our Connect page on technology will go away. That content will be incorporated into our daily business coverage and the Sunday Work & Money section.
Executive Editor John Drescher
See John Drescher discuss the new News & Observer in this video.