Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Catching up

Since last I blogged, the notepad has been filling up. Here are some quick-hitters:

* Looking forward to a major redesign of the print edition of the Freeman. It will happen around mid-summer, followed a couple of months later by a new look to our website. Newspapers don't take format changes lightly, given how resistant readers typically are to change. Indeed, since we run the risk of aggravating readers every day with what content is and isn't in the paper, why go out of our way to upset the apple cart by the way we appear? The answer is that freshening one's appearance is a good thing, particularly if the makeover is an improvement. We switched to our current format about 15 years ago, if memory serves me. Some people took to it immediately, others scolded us, as in, "How dare you mess with our local paper!" No doubt we'll get that again. Nevertheless, it's time.

* Fascinated to see in the Freeman website's comment section the never-ending, generally respectful, back and forth between supporters of the Catskill Mountain Railroad and those who advocate a rail trail. That said, seems to me the posters long ago got their respective points across and aren't likely to change any minds by reciting the same arguments. Might be time to yell "jump ball!"

* I'm guessing Tim Tebow is more likely to succeed with the New England Patriots than he was with the New York Jets. Patriots' coach Bill Belichik runs a tighter ship than does the Jets' Rex Ryan. Belichik won't let the media sideshow overtake the team.

* Looking forward to the return of "Magic City" this weekend on Starz. And critics are saying "Ray Donovan" on Showtime will be like "The Sopranos" based in Hollywood.

* Speaking of Showtime, if you have access to it, make sure you see the Richard Pryor documentary currently airing.

* WAMC Northeast Public Radio is nearing the completion of another successful $1 million fund drive. If you haven't chipped in, please call 1-800-323-9262 or pledge here. By the way, Alan Chartock, Judy Patrick and I recorded this week's Media Project, but it didn't air because of the fund drive. You can listen to it here.

* In sports, you come to expect the unpredictable. But there was no way to anticipate that the Mets would beat the Yankees four straight games and then collapse on successive weekends against the Miami Marlins.

* Spent a couple of days on Cape Cod late last month and ate more lobster than I had the last couple of years. Hadn't been on the Cape since 1972. What took me so long?

* It's my 8-year-old granddaughter Elizabeth's dance recital Saturday in Connecticut. Always fun. Grandson Dylan, age 6 months, isn't dancing yet. But his parents had him in the swimming pool over the weekend in California.

* I'm supposed to play 54 holes of golf in one day later this month. Ten years ago, a bunch of us did that and survived. But I needed shoulder surgery a few months later. Coincidence?

* Sorry to learn of the passing of Jack Martin. Jack was my first advertising director after I became publisher and he had the unenviable task of tutoring someone (that would be me) who had made his bones in the newsroom, with little prior contact on the sales side. Jack was a very important player in one of the most successful periods in our newspaper's history. Condolences to his wife, Elaine, daughters Amy and Laura, and the rest of the family.
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