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Editor column: Newspaper changes along with the times

Published February 16, 2013 1:47 pm

Print edition • Monday paper now in just two sections.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Who said the only constant in life is change? Heraclitus, that wise Greek philosopher so often quoted by scholars. "Everything flows, nothing stands still."

Right he was. Change comes at all velocities, sometimes meandering, other times at breakneck speeds.

Like now. Oh, my aching neck.

Most businesses have had to face changes, and none more than the newspaper industry. For an old news hack like me it sometimes seems daunting. The way people communicate and the way they get information has changed dramatically.

Lucky for me, the staff at The Salt Lake Tribune is so capable, so talented and so committed to good journalism. We can face the future with the best of them.

As our readers change, so must we. You will see a change in Monday's Tribune. We have reorganized the Monday publication into just two sections. The front section will be home to all local, state and national news along with obituaries and the editorial page. The second section will be led by Sports, followed by theater, TV listings, comics and puzzles.

Why do this? Because it allows us to save a couple of pages of newsprint and reduce related costs.

It is no secret that in this time of transition and changing habits we need to manage costs and balance resources in the smartest way possible. That is what we are trying to do with the changes to our Monday publications.

Why Monday? Because our Monday readers are shifting to our online publication in higher numbers than any other day. Indeed, our online director, Kim McDaniel, tells me that we draw more traffic early Monday morning than at any other single time period.

It's funny to think people go back to work after the weekend and one of the first things they do is sign on to their work computer and check us out to see if they missed anything. We, of course, are very happy that they do. Information is power, an informed citizen makes better decisions and an informed employee is a better employee. (Tell that to your boss if she or he catches you reading The Trib when you are supposed to be crunching numbers or finishing a report).

We want to keep our Monday print readers up on current events as well. And we also want to design the print Tribune to be more forward looking to help our time-pressed readers get ready for the rest of the week. We'll give them a healthy dose of news and also let them know what's coming up and what they can look forward to, or may want to avoid.

Our online readership has grown by leaps and bounds while print readership has fallen off, or depending on the day, flattened out. It is no exaggeration, however, to say we reach more readers now than we ever have.

We are glad you are a reader of The Salt Lake Tribune however you read us — in print, online, on your work computer or on your smartphone or your tablet. Thanks for trusting us to give you the news. We will do our best to deserve your trust.

Nancy Conway is The Salt Lake Tribune's editor. Reach her at nconway@sltrib.com.