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Longboat Key Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021 9 months ago

When it comes to news, we believe bigger is better

While everyone else in our industry gets smaller, we decided it was the perfect time to give readers more.
by: Kat Hughes Executive Editor

You might have noticed something a little different with your paper this week. Maybe you couldn’t quite put your finger on it (figuratively, of course), but the careful observer (pun intended), would notice that the paper this week is a bit larger than ever before. It’s a half-inch wider and 3-and-a-half inches taller, to be exact. In newspaper parlance, it’s what we call a broadsheet, though it’s not nearly as broad as the map-sized newspapers of yore.

But whether you noticed our new size or not, the question you are probably asking is: Why? And maybe: So what? Who cares? 

Kat Hughes

Both are excellent questions, particularly given that everything in our industry is tending to get smaller these days. A few years ago, it seemed like the attack of the incredible shrinking newspaper. Tabloids were in! Broadsheets were out! Look how innovative we’re being!   

The truth is, we always had a little size envy. Although the Observer has always been a nice, convenient friendly size, it has meant that a lot of content ends up on the cutting room floor each week. Pictures are cropped, text is trimmed. At times, it can be limiting. 

So when we were reevaluating our printer options as a normal course of business and learned that The Villages Media Group just installed a brand-new, state-of-the-art  Koenig & Bauer press — the only new press installed in the U.S. in the past decade — it had our interest. Then we learned it can print broadsheet more efficiently than our current size, so we decided to, as our president and publisher, Emily Walsh, said: “Go big or go home.” 

At a time when the industry is in contraction mode — whether it’s the size of newspapers, the number of days a week printed or just the size of newspapers’ newsrooms — we felt it was a no-brainer to make this investment. Because we are not interested in just preserving. We want to grow. And we are definitely not going anywhere, instead committed to serving our local readers and advertisers with the best products possible, both in print and digitally. 

Looking at the impact a bigger page has on content, we’re excited about the possibilities. It doesn’t sound like much, but in those 54 extra square inches, we can fit in an additional info box, short story, several photos or even that white space designers talk so much about. All that means better, more beautiful presentations for features, more room for photos and more stories and news for you, our readers. 

So to wrap up a long explanation succinctly (though I do have the space to go on, as you now know), the real reason we did this is the reason behind everything we do: you! We truly believe the shift will help us serve you better with the news, advertising, information and entertainment you have come to expect and enjoy from the Observer. 

Now there will just be more of it.  

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