Tampa Tribune redesign debuts today in advance of shared copyediting and design desks
The Tampa Tribune today debuted a redesign that will be shared among two other big metro newspapers owned by Richmond Va.'s Media General: the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Winston Salem Journal.
The shared looks come before Media General consolidates its copyediting and design departments for the three papers in two cities, Tampa and Richmond. Design guru Ron Reason, in a blog post about the changes to the newspaper, compared the distant design and copy editing work to the way newspapers like the St. Petersburg Times put together regional news sections from different bureaus.
Back when Media General first announced the consolidated design and copyediting plans for these papers, it projected $1-million in savings next year from the project, which was then in place at 12 of its 23 newspapers. The desks are expected to start in December, according to Reason's blog.
The newspaper summed up its changes for readers on the front page today, including: A front page and main section focused on local news; a new section named Trib2 for state, nation and world news, along with obituaries and weather each day but Sunday; the return of Wednesday's stand-alone Flavor food section; a beefed-up Baylife & Travel features section on Sundays and a bigger Views and News section Sunday.
I wonder how much of a challenge it will be to keep the front page local when something of major national import happens. If another Virginia Tech shooting or 9/11 occurs in a distant area, that is news print fans are used to seeing prominently displayed. It was also interesting to see an advertisement for BayCare included in the Trib2 nameplate at the top of the section's front page, hinting at ways the redesign can produce a little extra revenue.
It is also interesting to see newspapers adjusting to a "new normal," where resources are shifted and reallocated in different ways. The most important reaction, of course, will come from readers in the days and weeks to come.