You, our devoted readers, have come to understand over the years that for news that matters in Hernando County, the most reliable place to find it is in the Tampa Bay Times, whether in the Hernando section, on the front page of the paper, in the metro news section or on Tampabay.com — hard-hitting investigative reporting, daily breaking news, analysis, features.
Starting this week, you're going to see a change in the way we package and present this news. Hernando Times sections will publish every Sunday and Wednesday, and those sections will be larger than the ones we currently publish; on other days of the week, Hernando news and photographs will be in the Local section, also known as the B section. You'll notice a Hernando label on the front and a dedicated Hernando report inside. We will continue to post breaking news, updates and all of our other stories on Tampabay.com, our reimagined, user-friendly website. Visit tampabay.com/hernando.
Let me assure you that this change does not in any way alter or compromise the commitment we have to readers and advertisers in Hernando County. The size of our staff will remain the same. Everything we do now we will continue to do, only, in some cases, on different days of the week and in a different place.
The change follows several others we have made in recent years: shifting high school sports news to the C section, moving obituaries to the B section, moving classified and legal advertising to BayLink.
This consolidation of sections certainly will save some money on paper costs, and it will simplify our printing. It also brings Hernando County in line with the way we publish local news elsewhere in the Tampa Bay market, including Tampa and St. Petersburg. With the ability to place our daily breaking news in the B section, we intend to focus on important issues, trends and feature stories in the Sunday and Wednesday Hernando Times sections.
You'll begin seeing some of the changes in today's Hernando section. You'll find our Top of the Class school news page12 and the Recreation Notebookon Page 3. Those features will continue to appear each Sunday.
Here's the rest of the revamped lineup:
• Dan DeWitt's thought-provoking opinion columns will continue to run in both the Sunday and Wednesday regional sections. In addition, Dan will be writing a column each Tuesday, beginning next week, in the B section.
• Editorials and letters to the editor will appear each Sunday.
• Our popular Hometown Hernando pages will continue to run on both Sunday and Wednesday. These pages include news about local organizations and the accomplishments of Hernando residents. We've also recently added this feature to our website, so take a look.
• The Diversions page, with a new name, Things to Do, will move to Wednesday from Friday. We'll continue to inform you of everything happening in Hernando and the surrounding counties during the coming weekend — festivals, theater, concerts.
• Beginning next week, Business Digest will move to Sunday from Saturday. And we are making plans to beef up our coverage of Hernando business news.
• The weekly religion feature and calendar will move to Wednesday from Saturday.
• The events column will continue each Sunday. Clubs will remain on Wednesday. Health and support groups will move to Wednesday from Thursday.
• The crime report, government meetings, blood bank, births and other milestones will continue to publish on Sunday. Pet of the week, which has been running on Saturday, will move to Sunday beginning next week. Real estate transactions will move to Wednesday from Saturday.
• You also will see a new local advertising section, called MarketLink, each Friday.
In recent months, we've been out in front of the pack with our coverage of several important Hernando stories: the sex scandal involving County Commission candidate Jason Sager; the racy blog that led to the resignation of Desiree Henegar, chief financial officer for the school district; the controversy over possible testing of unmanned drones at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport; the desire by some members of the Family Motor Coach Association to move their annual rally at the Hernando airport to Volusia County; and our recent exclusive interviews with Andrew Lyle, the young man responsible for the 2009 wreck in which sheriff's Capt. Scott Bierwiler was killed, and with Samuel Eckard, whose son Stanley was charged with murder in the 2010 death of his younger brother, Sean.
These types of stories, and the depth of the reporting that goes into them, are something that, frankly, you don't get from any other news outlet in Hernando County.
As the largest and best source of local news, we have worked hard over the years to gain your trust, and we fully intend to maintain our commitment to you.
If you have questions or comments, please let me know. Send me email at [email protected] If you'd rather call, you can reach me at (352) 754-6119.
And, as always, we're interested in hearing your news tips and story ideas, too. Don't hesitate to contact me or one of our reporters.