For years, the News Sentinel has owned the “Knoxville.com” domain name. But we have never turned it into a content-rich Web site.
Starting Friday, Dec. 5, though, Knoxville.com will become the News Sentinel’s premier online source of information about things to do in the area. Major sections of the site will include movies, music, events, nightlife and dining. There also will be a visitor’s guide with information on attractions, hotels, shopping and moving to Knoxville.
The site will feature entertainment blogs, online reviews, music videos, MP3 downloads, movie trailers and a comprehensive calendar.
Our entertainment staff will update Knoxville.com throughout the day with the latest news on what’s happening in town.
In conjunction with the launch, our Preview section will be renamed “Knoxville.com,” reflecting the complementary roles of our print and Internet guides to Knoxville entertainment.
Go the Knoxville.com if you want to track the before-and-after transition.
One great thing about the newspaper business is that, if things don’t go right one day, you get to try again the next.
Lately, budgetary concerns have forced the paper to make some tough choices. In some instances, content has been cut back or moved. The reaction from readers has been vociferous. Which points to another great thing about our business: People are passionate about what we produce.
Anyway, starting Monday, we’ll be making some changes to the changes in reaction to reader reaction. (Get that?)
* Many readers were upset with the reduction in stock listings, but many said they’d be happy if they could at least check stock prices once a week. Starting Saturday, we’ll again provide comprehensive listings of how stocks and mutual funds did during the week. We’ll also boost the daily listings to include some widely held and heavily traded stocks.
* Other readers were concerned about the elimination of features sections and the location of comics and puzzles. Starting this week, our new Get Active section will shift to Friday. On Saturdays, we’ll restore the Faith & Family section, and a week from Monday, readers will find a brand new section dedicated to personal finance and smart shopping. These changes mean the comics, puzzles, TV listings and advice columns no longer will appear in the Sports or Preview sections.
* The loss of celebrity news on A2 disturbed several readers. Starting Monday, they again will find Hollywood gossip items on Page A2 along with a list of celebrity birthdays. Columnist Terry Morrow will continue to put a local spin on tinseltown news on the TV page as well.
* Finally, readers were disturbed by the combination of local and wire news in the “A” section. We’ll be addressing confusion there by limiting the number of the stories that “jump” from one page to another and by taking steps to assure that the obituaries rarely, if ever, run across several pages.
A week ago, the News Sentinel was forced to reduce its workforce because of the economic situation. Next week, readers will see changes in the newspaper itself.
Some of these change, too, are intended to reduce costs. Like other newspapers, we have been affected by sharply rising expenses, altered advertising patterns and the overall slowdown in the economy. During this time of transition, we want to do everything we can to produce a newspaper that is affordable as well as readable.
But we believe that many of the changes will make the News Sentinel more engaging and easier to use, as well.
The biggest change will be in Monday’s paper. The start of the week will feature a quick-read edition in two sections, News and Sports, as well as classified advertising.
The “A” section will combine national and local news, with emphasis on local. The weather charts will move to Page A2, and the obituaries will appear in the back of the section. The section also will include our editorials and letters to the editor.
The “B” section will be Sports, including comprehensive reports on the weekend’s games. At the back of the section will be the movie ads, TV listings, comics and puzzles.
Tuesday-Saturday, readers will see a four-section paper, plus classified ads. The four sections will be:
“A” — News, including local and wire reports, weather and obituaries.
“B” — Business and Comment. The A-to-Z stock listings will be discontinued, but stocks of local interest still will appear daily along with other data on the markets. The editorial pages will share the “B” section with the business news.
“C” — Sports. No change here. The News Sentinel will continue its broad coverage of the University of Tennessee, area high schools and other local teams as well as news from around the nation.
“D” — Features. Here you’ll find TV listings, comics and puzzles, just as in the past, but in a new line-up of themed sections. You’ll also find celebrity news presented in a new format by the News Sentinel’s own Terry Morrow, who’ll look for East Tennessee ties to the world of glitterati.
Here’s the new features line-up:
* Tuesday will continue to be Textme, a section by and for students.
* Wednesday will be Community. This section of neighborhood news had been available to just part of the News Sentinel’s readership. Now it will serve everyone and feature news from all of the greater Knoxville area.
* Thursday becomes Food & Home, a combination of two of our most popular topics. Recipes and tips abound.
* Friday is Preview, our guide to entertainment. This section will be bigger, with the TV listings, comics and puzzles appearing at the back.
* Saturday will be Get Active, with information to help you get up and go, whether your passion is gardening, hiking, cycling or fitness. Health will be part of this subject matter as well.
* Sunday’s paper remains our biggest edition. But there are a couple of changes. Life & Arts will broaden its subject matter and be renamed Life. Information about faith and families will appear here. So will occasional fine arts stories, though much of that coverage will move to Preview. The Go section is being eliminated, effective today; but travel stories will appear at times in Life.
We realize these changes are a lot to absorb, and you’ll have to explore the paper for a while before you get used to them.
In the meantime, we welcome your feedback.