THE INTRODUCTION of the "new" TV Topics Sunday and the new look on the Editorial Page and Viewpoints Page Monday are two more phases of the redesign of The News, with more to come through the first quarter of 1989.
The TV Topics changes, as we discussed last week, are substantive and designed to bring that product in line with the realities of the present-day TV picture in the Buffalo area.
Changes in the Editorial Page and Viewpoints Page enhance the appearance of these pages to make them more user-friendly. The content and thrust of the pages will not change. News editorial policy will remain the same; the objective of Viewpoints in presenting divergent views in columns and editorial cartoons also remains constant.
THE KEY CHANGE on the Editorial Page is the presentation of Everybody's Column, our traditional forum for letters from readers. The new format will permit the editors to give more emphasis to this very important part of the page with varying headline styles to enhance display of the letters.
Additionally, Editorial Page Editor Leonard Halpert and his staff will be utilizing art and/or boxed letters in the letters columns. The amount of space dedicated to reader letters remains the same as under the old format.
Missing will be the Small Society cartoon at the foot of the page. Despite the fact that the strip has appeared on the page for many years, we long have had misgivings about it because it frequently does make an editorial statement, which can mistakenly be taken for The News viewpoint.
Also missing from the page is the Art Buchwald column, which from now on will appear on the Viewpoints Page. Buchwald adds a valuable light touch to our pages, and we would not consider dropping his contribution to our overall product.
The editorials themselves, which very definitely present the viewpoint of The News, continue to appear on the left side of the Editorial Page. To improve readability, the editorials now are set in a slightly wider measure than in the past.
Also changed is the masthead of The News, which precedes the editorials and lists the editors and corporate officials of the newspaper. It is now much cleaner in appearance.
THE VIEWPOINTS PAGE goes to a basic five-column format as opposed to the previous six-column setup. There will be variations within this format, but the space devoted to our columnists remains the same.
The logos used with the columns to identify the authors also have been redesigned. And we have secured up-to-date pictures of the columnists; for example, Andy Rooney now will be shown with white hair, which he has had for some time.
The headline type on both the Editorial Page and the Viewpoints Page also has been changed to be consistent with the total new headdress that will be used in all sections of The News when the redesign is completed.
Two other changes, which most readers probably have not noticed, are now in place. At the end of November a new style for all bylines was introduced, and in mid-December new styles for all cutlines, the information under photographs, went into effect.
These changes were made to fit into the pattern of the revised look we are striving to achieve in the redesign. They are not very meaningful unto themselves. But it's similar to redecorating your home, where many of the small alterations are not really noticeable but are important to the total effect you are seeking.
Coming up for redesign introduction, likely in late December, will be the business and/or sports sections.