I hate change.
My wife Maggie is more than happy to verify that statement as gospel.
We all have our routines and the way we do things and even here at the good ol’ Reporter there is a phrase “But we’ve always done it like that…” that some people use and at least one employee is ready to shoot the next person who says that. I think she is kidding. But I won’t test it.
Anyway, since I became editor in August, I knew some changes would probably have to be made, but none too drastic. We started at the front of the paper trying to tighten up the front page and make it more noticeable and fun than it used to be. Thanks to the great stories turned in by Reporter reporter Bob Rakow and our freelancers, we have been able to dress up some terrific stories with some interesting photos and headlines.
Page 2, we left alone. It’s the cops and fire page. People expect it there and we’ll keep it there. In the future, I hope to have a little more artwork added to that page when we can, but for now we’re keeping that status quo and pulling out some of the more interesting crime items as separate stories.
Page 3 is supposed to be the second front page and, as of late, we’ve had such a strong batch of stories coming in that some of those would have probably been front page stories in the past.
Page 4 is the “Our Neighborhood” page and we’re trying to use that as a place for photo spreads of cool community events. We dressed up our archives with the “Retro Reporter” feature, which we hope is a neat improvement over just throwing a few items together.
Page 5 is acting as another news and feature page. And Community Briefs just might find a home there.
Page 6 is the Commentary page and the only change we made to that was to keep the “What do you say?” feature anchored on the bottom.
Now it’s time to tackle the second half of the paper and that’s where we are going to make some more noticeable changes.
Page 7 will now serve as the page with our death notices, church corner and a hodgepodge of other items such as the listings of benefits and fundraisers.
Pages 8 and 9 will have a huge change starting this week. We are opening up the school pages. Page 8 will be grade school news with page 9 serving as a focus on high schools and colleges. The theory is that there are so many proud parents and grandparents out there who absolutely love to see their kids’ and grandkids’ names and pictures in the paper. We serve so many schools in this six-community region that it makes a lot of sense to run as much as we can.
Page 10 used to be a big ol’ house ad for the Reporter that sometimes had a covered wagon on it. We used that because we didn’t seem to have enough news in the paper. I won’t say the house ad — or the covered wagon — will never return because it’s possible during the holidays and when people around here take much deserved vacations we will bring it back for a cameo appearance. But for the most part, it’s gone.
Page 10 temporarily became Features, which featured some syndicated stuff, and page 11 used to be Community Calendar and those were by far our worst looking pages in the paper. Too much gray. Not enough photos.
Page 10 will now be a combo of the features and community calendar with hopefully some artwork to break up the gray. Page 11 will now be our Consumer/business page.
And we’ll leave the Back Page pretty much alone with Dee Woods, the Best of the Wineguy and WHATIZIT? as the three main features while we may toss in a syndicated feature or two on there as well.
As we go along, we will tinker around to hopefully make the paper more compelling and attractive.
The groovie goolie
Coming up in Worth is a presentation titled “Chicago TV Horror Movie Shows: From Shock Theatre to Svengoolie.”
It’s being billed as the first comprehensive look at Chicago’s horror movie programs, from their inception in 1957 to the present. Authors Ted Okuda and Mark Yurkiw discuss their recent book and will show clips of various television and movies featured in their book.
It takes placed 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Worth Park District Historical Museum, 11500 S Beloit. Admission is free.
Hey, if these guys can make money writing books and giving lectures on nonsense such as Svengoolie, maybe I can get Oak Lawn legend and treasure Ed McElroy to co-write a book about the glory days of Bob Luce rasslin’ on Channel 26. Those were the days.
How was your Monday?
Ours was kind of lousy.
Thanks in part to a truck and a downed power line, we were without power and the — gasp — internet for most of Monday. So let me send out regrets if something fell through the cracks and we missed putting something in the paper that we should have while we were scrambling to put the darn thing together.