Changes coming to the Pilot

Following up on last week’s full page letter from the publisher, news editor Denis Finley had an article in Sunday’s paper about specific changes that are coming to The Virginian-Pilot. The article was republished as a blog post Monday.

Here are the changes you will begin to see next week:

– On Mondays only, we will combine the front section with the Hampton Roads section, and we will combine Sports and Classified. The editorial section will be one page.

– The Sunday editorial pages will be three pages instead of four.

– The Sunday Health and Science section will be eliminated. News about health and science isn’t going away but now will be displayed in our news sections. The Eyewitness page, a part of Health and Science, will alternate on Mondays with Context in the front section.

– The Drive and Classified sections will be combined on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

– The weather page will run on the back of Sports every day.

– We will eliminate a total of about a dozen other pages per week to come from sections including The Daily Break and Gracious Living.

– We no longer will offer a North Carolina section on Sunday for readers on the Outer Banks and other parts of northeastern North Carolina. We will continue to cover those areas and display that news throughout the paper.

Of all the changes, the ones I hate to see are those affecting the editorial pages, especially the Sunday reduction. Sundays are the days when we get to see op-eds by locals on the issues that matter to them the most. Yes, those columns are posted online but I still haven’t figured out how to comfortably sit with a computer and a cup of coffee and read them. Not only that, but the presentation of them in the printed paper is far different than the way they appear online. Take this one, for example. In the printed paper, it was a full page spread.

Wish Spike Lee had encouraged people not only to be educated, but to read the newspaper as a part of that education.


15 thoughts on “Changes coming to the Pilot

    1. And the ratio of News to Ads will shrink even more.

      At some point the advertisers will decide to spend their dollars on a different medium. Subscriptions will continue to shrink. The Pilot will have to find a way to collect from folks who use the online version.

      1. The advertisers have already made that choice. That’s why the newspapers are shrinking – fewer ad dollars. When the newspaper was the only game in town, they got all the ad money. Now it’s spread out.

        I agree: they are going to have to figure out how to get people to pay for online content.

  1. On the changing face of journalism and the newspaper business, Bob Gibson, Executive Director of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, recently said: “I think our journalism and our politics are changing at an ever-increasing rate. The rapid change in journalism is very unsettling to the business. They are finding new business models that can work for newspapers in the internet age. Radio and television are also cutting back as advertising has shifted. They have to find working business models. They’ve also started cooperating with non-profit groups…. I think new partnerships are going to change the way the media is covering the news and the way the platforms are for reporting the news…. Everyone is trying new business models because old print newspaper empires will die if they view themselves as old print newspaper empires. They are either in the news business or in the newspaper business, and if they are in the news business they will adapt a new business model and survive. If they are in the newspaper business, they’ll just go out of business.” (Gibson appeared on the Charlottesville, VA, interview program Politics Matters with host Jan Paynter discussing journalism

  2. I to like the op-ed section of the paper the best on Sundays. Same reason as I always read the letters to the editor. I think a lot of people enjoy reading what other peoples take is on something. It would be nice if they would keep that in printed version.

  3. I hate to see these changes. It may very well be the straw thet broke the camels back. I have not not been happy with the Virginian Pilot for some time. I guess I’ll just have to miss it with my morning coffee.

  4. Although it seems that price increases are never on the table, in my world, that would be the first option considered. $1.00 a day for the paper would still be a bargain, and subscription rates are usually half that. Newspaper readers are very loyal. and would probably not unsubcribe over $2 more a week. Personally, i think a newspaper would be more responsible to its readers if the readers were contributing more cash to the newspaper’s bottom line than the advertisers. Personally, I would be more willing to pay an extra 25 to 50 cents a day for more content, if the newspaper would consider the readers’ needs, rather than hack at the size of the comics, and decrease the actual content mercilessly.

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