Sneak Peek at the New ‘Orlando Sentinel’

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By: E&P Staff

Details of the soon-to-be-redesigned Orlando Sentinel have leaked out via the blog TellZell.

The proposed front page of the Sentinel — which is set to officially launch on June 22 — packs more information and teasers in the banner, reducing the size of the nameplate. (Alan Mutter at Reflections of a Newsosaur has a comparison of the before and after versions).

The front page is divided into four elements, giving more space and breathing room to stories: two big boxes contain stories on the top, with two smaller boxes of separate stories on the bottom. The old version has at least seven different articles or other elements, similar to an index.

The new edition makes use of photographs and other graphic elements with bold headlines.

The Orlando Sentinel is the first paper in the Tribune stable to undergo the new 50/50 ad-to-edit ratio that Chief Operating Officer Randy Michaels briefly outlined during a June 5 quarterly call.

Tribune needs to cut costs since the company is saddled with billions in debt, and adding more challenges is the rising price of newsprint. Michaels explained that management had looked at other papers across the country, including The Wall Street Journal, and compared the number of pages in each edition. The Chicago Tribune is on average 80 pages a day while the Wall Street Journal is around 48, Michaels said on the call.

“A paper looks good at 50% advertising,” Michaels said. “What you find out is that you can take 500 editorial pages a week out of newspaper and have a 50/50 ad-to-content ratio.”

Tribune expects all its papers to launch designs with the new strategy by September.

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