Dear Readers,It’s getting exciting around here.Along with the usual fun of December, the redesign of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent is almost here. I’ve been dropping hints, like “reindeer and mistletoe,” to give you a sense of when this might happen. Now I’m ready to announce the date your newspaper will take on a new, fresh look: Sunday, Dec. 15.We feel relatively confident that we can take care of the 1,001 details between now and then to make it happen.I want to give you a more detailed explanation of what to expect from the redesign.We sought this because we felt the paper was not as well organized as it could be. Many pages were too gray, or cluttered, and the paper simply looks thrown together rather than planned. We wanted to anchor the things you look for every day. We wanted the pages to breathe, and we want some of them to sing.When we first started this process, our design consultant, Roy Willey, asked us for one word that described the look we wanted. Thinking about our readers and our own expectations, the word we settled on was “sophisticated.” Now, mind you, that doesn’t mean pretentious or snooty. To us, sophisticated means elegant and crisp, a newspaper that appeals to our diverse, educated and involved readers.We know you value local news, and we know that most of you also value news from the wider world. We know you get a kick out of the commentary pages and the news about people. We know that some of you skip straight to the sports or the comics. And we know that plenty of people read obituaries every day we have them.So we worked hard to figure out a better way to organize a paper that has dramatic fluctuations in size. Today’s two-section paper is 64 pages, but Thursday’s paper was just 24 pages.What we settled on was this plan: present all the hard news and feature stories first. On days of fat papers, the news will go on for many pages. On days of thin papers, the news will end at a dozen pages or less.We’ll present the news in this order: The two top local stories and our best photo of the day on page 1, along with a window into the paper with top headlines for content. Page 2 will be the spot for cop shop, corrections, and local news. Page 3 will host our No. 3 local news story and another photo.Pages 4 and 5, currently the home of our commentary pages, will continue the news package with “News of the Day,” the top state, national and world stories from our wire services.Deeper into the news package, we’ll present more local news, followed by state, regional, national and world news as space allows.Immediately behind the news pages will be the new “Community” pages. They won’t be on the same page number every day, but they will always be in the same order, always behind the news pages. This is where you will find obituaries, Postings and Donna Daniels’ Mountain Mailbag. We will also move letters of thanks off the commentary pages and run them on the community pages. Think of these pages as yours. Almost all the copy and photos that appear on these pages will be submitted to us by readers. And on Wednesdays, Our Towns and Food & Drink will appear with the community pages. The community pages will run on Sunday and Tuesday through Friday. On Monday, we’ll use these pages for Business News. This is where you’ll find news briefs about the work world in our valley. It will essentially be the “Businews” collection we have been running on Mondays for years, with an occasional feature on an interesting or new business in the area. We have more plans up our sleeves for these Monday Business pages in the new year.But back to the order of things.Behind the community pages, you will find the commentary pages. That’s where we will run Post Independent editorials, columns, guest editorials, letters to the editor and Independent Voices, the new opinion bank feature that will run on Fridays.Behind commentary will be our sports pages, and sports editor Sean Kelly will explain the changes he is bringing to those pages in another of my columns next week.From sports, you can browse the Service Directory and the classified advertising section. Then you’ll hit the comics and, on the inside back cover page, the weather and For Your Information, the calendar that has been running on page 2.This order of things will take some getting used to, and I hope you will give it a week or two before conferring judgment.To get a better idea of what I am talking about, stop by our offices anytime next week (we’re open 8-5 weekdays) and pick up the free 32-page prototype edition. It will be printed over the weekend. We took the Nov. 20 paper and reworked it under the new design to get a sense of what these pages will look like on newsprint.The Classified Department in the Tamarack Building at 1001 Grand Ave. will close today at 4 p.m. That’s when the scrambling starts.The entire classified advertising operation, which serves the Post Independent and its sister newspapers in three neighboring counties, will move this weekend into remodeled space at the Post Independent building, 2014 Grand Ave.They will be open for business here at 8 a.m. next Monday. You can place a classified ad by phone by calling 945-9937, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, by fax to 945-0777, or by dropping by the new digs at 2014 Grand Ave. Come around to the south side of the building for a direct entrance. Christine, Liz and the crew will be glad to see you.
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