What all the cool deputies are searching for this time of year…

It’s difficult for me to believe this wasn’t intentional.


Especially when you get into the story and find out what the young woman is wanted for:

…she is wanted for felony charges of attempting to submit to carnal knowledge.

In other words: Prostitution.

But in fact, I scrolled through this tiny, elementary news site and I found no other examples of intentionally naughty headlines.

The tip for this one came from Bob Dillier, who tells us:

I plan to show this to my journalism students at the Defense Information

Tazewell County is in the panhandle of Virginia.  I can’t seem to find circulation figures for the Tazewell Star. For all I know, it might be an online-only “hyperlocal” site. Find its Facebook page here.

Find the story itself here.

A look at this winter’s in-house redesign of the Tampa Tribune

Horace Brooks, team leader for design at the Tampa Tribune, writes to let us know about a redesign his paper launched in January.

He writes that he found, here at the blog…

…an extensive post about our last redesign as a Media General product. So I thought you might be interested to see what we’re up to now.

The purpose of that redesign was to bring us in line with the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Winston-Salem Journal, so that the three papers could be designed and copy edited from two Consolidated Editing Centers, a truly dark chapter in Tribune history.

You can read about that October 2010 redesign here. Here’s a before-and-after look that I posted then:


The sale to Warren Buffett of all Media General papers but one, us, meant the demise of the CEC.

We were purchased in October 2012 by a private investment firm, Revolution Capital Group. Tampa Media Group was born, and we were thankfully free to shake things up and reclaim our identity.

By December of last year (below, left) the Tribune had already changed its nameplate to something that looked a little more traditional. On the right, here, is Wednesday’s front page.


You can see the elimination of the serif headline fonts and a complete overhaul of the skybox promos, for starters. But, in fact, there was quite a bit more to this redesign than that — stuff that’s not necessarily showing up in the Newseum.

Horace tells us:

Our first move was to push back against the Tampa Bay Times name change by reopening our office in Pinellas County and launching the St.Petersburg Tribune.

Here’s a live St. Pete Tribune page from last month:


Click any of these, by the way, for a larger view.

Horace continues:

We treat St. Pete as our first edition and Tampa as the second. Most days we have two unique stories on each front and two shared stories. The same goes for Metro.

Next we switched from CCI to Saxotech, which consumed all attention for many months, so that I think it was the end of August last year when someone asked , “Why do we still look like the Tampa Times-Dispatch?”

From the start, I focused our redesign on single copy sales and reinventing our front page. Since we’re in one of the last competitive markets, with our papers sitting next to the Times in boxes and on store shelves, I felt we should dedicate every bit of the top half our front page as a billboard to draw undecided readers to our cause.

As you can imagine, this approach presented many challenges. Each time I tackled a new idea, I would design another round of prototypes, reimagining the previous four or five days of front pages using the actual news budgets. This went on for about three months. I also developed a 60-slide Power Point to present my ideas to my colleagues.

A couple of prototype pages from Horace’s collection.


One of the first people I shared the concept with was our photo editor, Todd Chappel. Since we’re now mixing photos with type on a regular basis, this wasn’t going anywhere without his help and encouragement. From day one, I’ve had wonderful backing from graphics editor David Williams, and my fellow A1 designers, Cindy DeJonge, Joel Taylor and Mike Winter.

Ultimately, I simplified our concept to three elements:

1. No body copy above the fold, the idea being that all top-half type should be readable from a distance at a newsstand.

2. Main art should always sit above the fold. A photo can extend past the fold, as in this example…


…but the meaningful area of the photo or graphic should never be folded.

3. I added the Below The Fold box. The box accomplishes two things: All headlines get a shot above the fold to nab a reader’s attention, and it’s a reminder that we’re not a tabloid. Headlines are copied into the box using the exact wording, so readers don’t have to process the information twice.

A closer look at the top half of a St. Pete Trib prototype:


As I started to pitch my ideas, I kept expecting push back that never came. All our executives responded with, “Great! Let’s do it. When can we start?”

I expected resistance from reporters and editors, but that never materialized either. One of our metro editors, Dennis Joyce, dubbed our new look The Blast, since words such as “display” or “centerpiece” just didn’t cut it anymore.

Here were the launch day front pages that published Jan. 5.


My goal from the start was to develop an architecture that would in no way compromise our decision making. No content has been lost, and we still build our pages around the best three or four stories each day. If the day’s biggest story is not visual, a rarity it turns out, we still have layouts that feature one story’s headline and display big art for another.

The rest of the redesign was more a series of tweaks. We simplified our head fonts, dropping Miller-serifs. We dialed back on color, banning most tan and light blue boxes that tend to remind me of Richmond. Red is now the signature color, and we mostly stick to that.

Here are three more sample Tampa Tribune pages. From left to right: Jan. 8, Jan. 11 and Feb. 13.


And here are three more sample St. Petersburg Tribune pages.


From left to right: Jan. 24, Feb. 21 and Feb. 23.

Horace concludes:

The response has been wonderful. We’ve had a couple of negative letters, of course , but most have been really positive. And I’ve been gratified by the support from longtime subscribers, since this new concept wasn’t really for them. They appreciate that we’re presenting a bolder face and are back to playing offense against our rival.

Average daily circulation for the Tampa Tribune is 144,510.

Birthdays for Thursday, March 6

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six wonderful visual journalists…


Just last week, Aly Colón was named the next John S. and James L. Knight Chair in Media Ethics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. A 1975 graduate of Stanford University, Aly spent seven years as executive editor for economy and features at the Herald of Everett, Wash., before moving to the Seattle Times as a diversity coach and assistant managing editor. In 1997, he joined the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., supervising the writing and ethics groups. Aly left Poynter in 2007, worked briefly for Safeco Insurance and then joined Avanade, a business software and technology firm. Aly went freelance in 2010, working with the American Society of News Editor and Public Radio International. He joined NBC News in 2012 as director of standards and practices for the Telemundo Network and for NBC News. He will move to Lexington this summer. Find Aly’s Twitter feed here.


Jordan Fifer is the public safety reporter for the Times of Roanoke, Va. A product of Virginia Western Community College, Jordan spent three years as the Times‘ online producer and then another three as a general assignment reporter, Jordan also served as editor-in-chief of the Highland Cavalier, the student paper at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. He completed his coursework last year. He started in his current role last fall. He had surgery last week, by the way, and hoped to be out of the hospital by today. Find his MuckRake site here and his Twitter feed here.


Scott Fybush is a radio writer and consultant based in Rochester, N.Y. A 1992 graduate of Boston’s Brandeis University, Scott worked as a reporter for WCAP in Lowell, Mass., WBZ in Boston, R News in Rochester and WXXI, also in Rochester. In addition to his freelance work, he edits radio trade publications such as the Radio Journal, NorthEast Radio Watch and 100000watts.com. Find his Fybush Media web site here and his Twitter feed here.


Scott Johnson is communications and engagement manager for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York City. A 1989 graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University, Scott spent two years as graphics editor for the Bulletin of Norwich, Conn., and then a year as art director of Current Science and Weekly Reader before joining the Hartford Courant in 1991. He became art director of the Associated Press in 2000 and then moved up to director of graphics two years later. He was briefly AP’s director of design and branding before he left in 2008 to become director of communications and branding for the Central Park Conservancy, a nonprofit. He moved to Sloan-Kettering in 2011. Find his web site here.


Evelina Warren is a senior graphic designer for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in Austin, Texas. A 1985 graduate of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, Evelina spent three years as an editor and director of publications for the diocese of Austin. She moved to Syracuse to become senior editor of the diocese there before returning to Texas in 1990 to join the Beaumont Enterprise as features designer and editor. She moved to Austin two years later and then spent 20 years at the American-Statesman as a features designer until Cox consolidated editing and design of its papers in 2012. She freelanced until catching on with the Comptroller’s office in December.


Arthur Apple is a retired textiles manager residing in Thomson, Ga. And he’s my dad. He turns 71 today.

Elelina, Jordan, Scott, Scott, Aly and Dad share a birthday with actors Eli David Marienthal, Constance Elaine Womack (better known as Connie Britton) and Benjamin E. “Ben” Murphy; musicians David Jon Gilmour (of Pink Floyd), Tyler Gregory Okonma (better known as Tyler the Creator), Kiri Janette Te Kanawa and Pauline Matthews (better known as Kiki Dee); comedians Darryl Lynn “D.L.” Hughley, Thomas Duane “Tom” Arnold and Louis Francis “Lou” Costello; talk show sidekick Edward Peter “Ed” McMahon Jr.; actor-turned-director Robert Normal “Rob” Reiner; model Nicole Fox; sports greats Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal (basketball), Richard Douglas “Dick” Fosbury (track and field), Wilver Dornell “Willie” Stargell, Octavio Victor “Cookie” Rojas Rivas (both baseball) and Andre Bernard Gurode (football); astronauts Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr. and Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova; economist Alan Greenspan; convicted felons Ivan Frederick Boesky and Marion Shepilov Barry Jr.; poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning; artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni and cartoonist William Erwin “Will” Eisner.

In addition, today is Nametag Day, Oreo Cookie Day, World Book Day and Day of the Dude. Seriously.

Have a great birthday, all! Best wishes!

Robert and Julie Zavala leaving the Victoria Advocate and newspapers

This is yet another huge loss for newspapers…

A talented couple, both of whom I’ve written about extensively over the years — Robert and Julie Zavala of the Victoria (Texas) Advocate — are leaving the industry.


Robert tells us:

On March 14, my time in the newspaper business will come to a close. I am lucky to be leaving under my own steam, unlike many of my laid-off friends. I will be going to work for Stratfor Global Intelligence in Austin next month.

Here’s an excerpt of the official announcement by Advocate editor Chris Cobler:

This is a big career change for Robert, but he’s excited to try something new. Stratfor monitors world events and provides reports for its clients, among many other dark and mysterious things. Julie is planning to free-lance while considering her options in Austin.

The Zavalas have been terrific members of our team since they arrived in August 2007 and will be deeply missed. I’ve told them the door is always open for their return, should global intrigue lose its luster.

You don’t ever really replace the Zavalas — they’re unique and special — but I am confident in our strong and talented team.

Robert tells us:

I started out at the Beaumont Enterprise about 16 years ago where they hired me to do graphics and help out in the darkroom in the photo department.

Before that, I unloaded trucks at a lumberyard in Beaumont for about 17 years. The Beaumont Enterprise was my first office job and to this day, the best thing about the newspaper business for me, is that it is inside and air conditioned.

Robert also spent several years at my current paper the Orange County Register. Folks here remember him fondly.

He adds:

It’s been a great ride.

A few samples of Robert’s work:






Blood Ties page five

And, of course, don’t miss Robert’s work on a zombie-themed TV ad for the Advocate last Halloween.


Find Robert’s blog and portfolio site here.

Robert tells us:

Julie’s run here at the Advocate was her first job in the newspaper business.

Here are a few samples of her work:


Harry Potter trivia



Julie and Robert’s departure occurs a little more than three years after another prominent Advocate couple — designer Ryan Huddle and his columnist+blogger wife, Aprill Brandondeparted the paper for Boston. Robert sent along this picture of the four of them, before Ryan and Aprill left:


Because of the wacky creative solutions they come up with and the chances they take, the 26,531-circulation Victoria Advocate has long been one of my favorite smaller papers.

Washington Post’s Yuri Victor to join Ezra Klein’s new Project X

Yuri Victor, director of user experience at the Washington Post, is leaving newspapers to work on new media guru + policy wonk Ezra Klein‘s new project.


Yuri tweets this morning:


Vox Media owns such news outlets as the Verge, Eater, Racked and SB Nation.

I had no idea what Project X is, but that’s because I’m a little behind in reading the trade sites. When I asked him, Yuri helpfully sent me a link to this New York magazine article.

Wonkblog creator Ezra Klein left the WaPo a few weeks ago to start a new venture. Project X is what they’re calling it now. Klein has been hiring folks to work with him, including a number of ex-Post folks. Find a public Twitter feed here about it.

A 2005 graduate of Purdue University, Yuri served as editor-in-chief of the school’s student newspaper, the Exponent. He spent three years as an online editor for the Times of Munster, Ind., before becoming Product Design and Development Manager for Gannett corporate in McLean, Va. He moved to San Diego in 2010 to become the Union-Tribune‘s product design and development manager. He moved again to the Post in 2011.

Find Yuri’s web site here and his Twitter feed here.