Starting Sept. 15, Largo readers will notice a difference in their St. Petersburg Times.
The Largo Times section that appears on Wednesday and Sunday becomes part of our popular Neighborhood Times family, a section that will focus on news about Largo, Seminole, Pinellas Park and other nearby communities.
There's no change in the publication days: You'll get your Neighborhood Times on Wednesdays and Sundays.
The Neighborhood Times section will have a different look. Instead of a cover that usually features a single full-page photo, the section will start news stories on the front page. Inside, you will find the same Largo news, calendar items and business briefs, although they will be blended into a larger community offering. There also will be a larger advertising marketplace, featuring ads from Largo and the communities around it.
Why make the changes? Two reasons. First, it's more efficient to combine our news gathering and production operations. That only makes sense in these difficult economic times. Second, we think the combination will make for a meatier presentations of news, features and advertising.
We're confident we can offer a broader community look without diminishing at all our commitment to providing news and information about Largo.
We'll continue our watchdog role at Largo City Hall with staff writer Dominick Tao providing news coverage on government, neighborhood and business issues relevant to the community.
Staff writer Piper Castillo, a Largo resident, will keep her hand on the pulse of what's going on in entertainment, religion, schools and whatever else catches her fancy.
A cadre of freelance writers, including Largo residents Christina Cosdon and Rhonda Iovino, will do features and profiles.
Jim Damaske, Doug Clifford and Joseph Garnett Jr. will continue to provide images that complement those stories and tell a few stories of their own.
Because Largo readers have a connection to Clearwater and North Pinellas, we'll continue to provide a summary of notable North Pinellas stories.
And we'll continue to post stories about Largo on tampabay.com, find ways to complement some of them with video and keep learning new things to provide readers and Web viewers the best coverage we can.
Come with me for the ride. No doubt it will be a bit bumpy at first, and we won't always do everything exactly right or everything you want us to do in Largo.
But I'll guarantee this: We'll do our best, listen to your concerns and make adjustments where and when we can to provide Largo with a quality newspaper.
I want to hear what you think. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4152.