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Change in store for our readers

Oct. 28, 2012


This column ran Oct. 28, introducing our new full access strategy, which officially launched Nov. 15. Take a look at our new digital and print lineup and let us know how we're doing!

For nearly 129 years, The News-Press has reflected and connected the special people, places and perspectives of Southwest Florida, chronicling the big and small changes that unite us as community.

Over that time we’ve changed with you — from the long ago merger of two tiny newspapers to form our now familiar masthead, from hot type to live video streaming, from one brand once a day to a dozen brands and news coverage all day long.

In a few weeks, we’ll be changing again — our most exciting evolution since our founding on Nov. 22, 1884!

We are launching a new subscription strategy Nov. 15, providing readers with our unique local content across every available platform and device — print, web, mobile, electronic replica of the print edition, and, for the first time, on the tablet!

And we’re investing in technology, digital capabilities and, most importantly, content, from new sections to more interactive features designed to engage you. Only subscribers will have full access to all our news, information, advertising, photo galleries, videos, databases and more.

After nearly a year of exploration with the community, we have an energizing new vision for news coverage. We’ll be deepening coverage on those issues you care the most about and ramping up the civility and interactivity of our digital conversations. Executive Editor Terry Eberle will be telling you more in weeks to come.

This transformative strategy centers on one foundational principle: You expect a lot from your home town source and we want to give it to you.

You want local content that matters to you, from safeguarding your tax dollars to the best of playing in paradise. You want to know what’s happening of importance; you want a voice for the voiceless; and you want spotlights on both the good and not so good. And you want it when and where and how you want it.

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Every day, throughout the day, we aspire to meet your high expectations, with a team of dedicated journalists who inform, inspire, entertain and engage in ways nobody else can match. We don’t always get it right or perhaps in the way you would have preferred. But our purpose is to be your trusted home town source, your brand of choice in a world of multiple choices.

Terry and I like to say this is the most exciting time to be in the news gathering business.

The explosion of technological possibilities has redefined how media companies — and all companies — do business. Some of the lessons have been painful, especially coupled with the economic recession. We all know there is no going back; nor can we just stand still. We must move forward.

For The News-Press, new technologies have provided creative tools to tell stories in innovative, more powerful ways, live time, combining our words with deep databases, interactive graphics and sparkling videos. Did you catch our amazing whale shark video? Check it out at

And we’re developing new skill sets to provide this content all day long seamlessly across multiple platforms — web, mobile, tablet and, of course, print.

After first introducing content free on the web more than a dozen years ago, we are restating our position: Our distinctive journalism is of high value however you access it.

Come Nov. 15, subscribers will have full access to print and digital. Those who don’t subscribe will have limited access to our digital content. We will offer a digital only subscription, as well as a special subscription offer for our snowbirds.

The entire media industry is transforming to meet changing needs. We’re among the last of Gannett’s 81 newspapers to convert to this new content subscription model. As we’ve started sharing this news, the response is a resounding: “That’s a great idea; what took you so long!”

If you are a subscriber, you will receive a letter from me next week explaining these changes and directing you to our customer service representatives at 1-800-468-0233 if you have questions. All you have to do as a subscriber to get full access is to create a simple account online. If you are a print reader and have no interest in digital, you need not do anything differently (although, you can share your subscription with a family member!)

Over the next few months, Terry and I, along with our entire leadership team, will be open and accessible as we make these changes. You’ll have questions — and we’re going to answer them. You’ll need help — and you will get it.

On the eve of our 129th birthday, we are reinventing ourselves to better meet your needs. We reaffirm the responsibility as your home town source to reflect, connect, challenge and help lead this community, with the core purpose of serving the greater good.

Thank you, as always, for your readership, your feedback, your high expectations. We can’t wait to see what the next 100 years will bring.

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