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Posted on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 6 a.m.

Give us your feedback on the new design and expanded features in the newspaper

By Tony Dearing

Welcome to your redesigned newspaper. In addition to the new design that we've introduced, we've also added new features to the Thursday and Sunday paper, and we're interested in hearing what you think of them.

We told our readers last Sunday that these improvements were coming, and we also assured you that while we're adding new content to the paper in a variety of areas, our focus will continue to be heavily on local news coverage.

While we're continuing the traditional format and sectioning of the paper, we do want to point out some changes you'll see as you go through the paper today.

For the Thursday edition, the changes include:

  • A local opinion page inside the A section, which is new for us, as well as a page offering opinion and commentary on statewide issues.
  • More state and national news inside the A section.
  • An expanded page of team standings and statistics in the Sports section — what sports fans commonly refer to as the agate page.
  • The third section of the paper is now an Entertainment section in broadsheet. Inside that section also includes a full-page listing of movies showing at local theaters, as well as a page devoted to movie reviews. You'll find a page devoted to Food & Grocery in this section as well.
  • We continue to offer local events listings in a Spotlight magazine tab.
  • We're also introducing a new line-up of comics and advice columns. It includes a number of comics we've always offered, as well as a variety of popular comics we haven't been able to offer in the past because of geographic restrictions that have recently been lifted. All of the comics we've run in the past remain available on our web site Monday through Saturday, so if you don't see a comic in our paper that you're looking for, you can still enjoy it by going to

For the Sunday edition, other changes include:

  • A separate Business Review section, to recognize the importance of that content and give it a home of its own. Previously, our business pages ran inside the A section. This section also includes two pages of new personal finance information from the Wall Street Journal.
  • A page of opinion and analysis on state issues in the A section, a technology page in the second A section, and a new four-page Travel section.

We welcome your feedback on these changes. You can post a comment here or you can contact either me at or (734) 623-2524 or Print Director Steve Pepple at or (734) 623-2523.


Sandra Samons

Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 7:57 p.m.

I think it is worse than unfortunate that you do not have a Letters to the Editor column, which would be different than simply commenting on individual articles. But I am prompted to write at this time to express my deep consternation that you have started to include with your other advice columns the one from Focus on the Family. I am deeply offended that you would include advice from such a hateful and narrow minded source, and question your judgement to do so in a community where people are well educated and will recognize this source for what it is. I am sure I am in good company in being offended by it. Just to compound the offense, the advice is just plain bad. A case in point is the first question in yesterday's (Sun. 3-4-12) column. It was about step-father concerns and the advice completely ignored the birth father's role and the need to deal with that question, whether by attempting to create more active participation on his part and/or to help the child come to terms with his absence, which would be a necessary prerequisite to becoming more accepting of a step-father. In fact, the columnist jumped right into discussing the step-father becoming the father. This is outright harmful! How can you even consider including something like this in your newspaper?! And this is completely aside from the propensity of this group (Focus) to deny others the right to practice reproductive health care in accordance with their own beliefs....instead attempting to impose their own beliefs on everyone else, and completely aside from this group defining same sex attraction and diversity in gender identity as perversions! Have you no idea how many people are harmed by this kind of rhetoric?!

Tony Dearing

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

We do welcome letters to the editor, and publish them both in print and online. The letters to the editor published online appear in our Opinion section, which you'll find here: <a href=""></a> Letters to the editor can be sent to As for the Focus on the Family column, we understand that it comes from a particular point of view, just as other things we publish come from other points of view. We have not found the content to be hateful, but we respect your opinion and your right to express it. We serve a large audience of people who come from very different backgrounds and beliefs, and we believe that part of our responsibility is to expose our readership to a wide range of views. We do not at this point have plans to discontinue this column.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

I still like this paper. Contents are good. Always the best info about our city. I look forward to reading it. Print font change is not a positive. Items don't stand out. Other issues are the Spotlight could have been changed in a less drastic way. And last, my biggest issue is the puzzle page. Seems like a small item but I always looked forward to it to keep my mind sharp. The Crossword Puzzle was made so small. Why? I'm not a senior and I find it hard to read and fill in. The Cryptoquip has no space to decipher and fill in the answer anymore. Oddly, the Sudoku, which was previously large and in bold type, has been made huge and with no bold. Please bring back the puzzles the way they were!! Thanks.

Kathleen Kosobud

Sun, Feb 12, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

Yikes! &quot;All the news that fits--we print&quot;. For those of us who have trouble reading fine print, you've made the print small enough to be a real challenge. I can no longer read the paper without a magnifying glass. You've lost a subscriber.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

I am also unhappy with the new spotlight section. As someone else has mentioned, we too save the spotlight section all week. Quite often we go out to dinner and I bring it in my bag to consider a movie. It was so much easier to read the movie section with the smaller paper and spread across nicely. I think the print may have been larger (movies) also. PLEASE RETURN TO THE FORMER AND MUCH BETTER SPOTLIGHT SECTION! Everything was together. Please &amp; Thank you.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

I like the addition of WSJ personal finance info to the Sunday business section... and the new business section, in general.

Jon Saalberg

Sun, Feb 5, 2012 : 8:39 p.m.

The paper is growing more and more towards USA Today look - not a good thing. The color fidelity of images needs improvement - many images are too red, too saturated and have inconsistent image sharpness. My family is highly disappointed that the paper has dropped Bizarro, Adam, the Buckets, and added much lesser comics to replace them.

Tony Dearing

Mon, Feb 6, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

When it comes to comics, it's always difficult to make changes, because every comic strip has its followers. However, our overall lineup of comics was weak, because the Detroit newspapers have traditionally be able to secure rights to most of the popular comics, and we weren't allowed to get them. That restriction on us has now been lifted, and we're taking that opportunity to add many new comics, but in order to do that, we have to take them as a package. I regret we've had to drop comic strips you've enjoyed, and we've tried to compensate for that by continuing to offer them online.


Fri, Feb 3, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

I like the expanded news content, but I hope that local news remains priority on page 1; much more meaningful than adding to the news barrage on distracted driving (not really timely or &quot;news&quot; for the front page). I think the comics missed the mark. Too many new comics, and I miss Arlo, Bizarro, Sylvia and some of the other old comics. Don't see the point of expanding the offering while discontinuing previous offerings. I am also disappointed in the loss of &quot;Spotlight.&quot; This was one stop location for movies and reviews, restaurants, previews of upcoming performances, and other local events. We save this every week for quick reference. Now this content is spread around, and less attractively packaged, and not likely to be saved for reference. (Someone told me I could always look at The Observer.&quot;) Bring back the old &quot;Spotlight,&quot; and while you're at it, add a couple days to the end of the coverage to overlap the following weekend, too. Finally, I already miss the semi-regular beer column. Maybe not as family friendly or politically correct, but nice local tone.

Tony Dearing

Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 12:02 p.m.

Thank you for the feedback. We've heard similar concerns from other readers about the changes to Spotlight, and we are working to address those. Please give us a week or two to incorporate the improvements that you and others are asking for. As for comics, it's always difficult to make changes, because every comic strip has its followers. However, our overall lineup of comics was weak, because the Detroit newspapers have traditionally be able to secure rights to most of the popular comics, and we weren't allowed to get them. That restriction on us has now been lifted, and we're taking that opportunity to add many new comics, but in order to do that, we have to take them as a package. I regret we've had to drop two of the strips you've enjoyed, and we've tried to compensate for that by continuing to offer them online. I did want to mention that we're continuing Sylvia in the Sunday newspaper. Tony Dearing


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

The redesigned Thursday paper is great! More content and Michigan news. I don't think could have done a better job. Nice work!

Tony Dearing

Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

Thanks. Really appreciate the feedback.

David Cahill

Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

I love the redesigned Thursday paper, Tony - especially the two pages of color comics! Some questions: I think the body type has changed from sans-serif to serif. Am I right? There are a bunch of other style changes. Could you list them? The new comics are great. But I noticed that (at least) Bizarro, Cornered, and Arlo and Janis are not in Thursday's paper. Will they be in Sunday's paper? What other comics are no longer with us? Will the total number of pages for the Thursday and Sunday papers stay the same or be increased? I noticed (and appreciate) the expanded news coverage. Did anything get cut?

Tony Dearing

Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

Thanks for the feedback. The previous body type was also a serif font, so no change there. We have changed many other fonts, including captions and headlines, but too many to list. Let me know if there's anything you're having trouble reading. Along with the comics you cited, the other daily comics that remain available online but no longer in print are: Adam, Other Coast, Agnes, Middletons, Buckets, Pooch Cafe, Sylvia, Non Sequitur and Rubes. The total number of pages fluctates as the volume of advertising fluctuates, but generally speaking, we'll have about the same number of pages on Thursday and Sunday as in the past. One thing we gave up was section front on Thursday for Food &amp; Grocery, although there's still a page of Food &amp; Grocery on the back page of Section C on Thursday.