Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Talkin' About New News Look and My Old Blog

This is what I’m thinking:

* I love the new look of the Buffalo News website. However, I have a harder time finding what I’m looking for on the site than I did in the old format.

My 26-year-old son, who lives out of town and diligently reads the paper online, put in succinctly in a text sent to me last week: “The new Buffalonews.com format sucks. Everyone I know hates it…It is almost like it is their goal to stop having people read it online so they will buy the paper.”

Of course, the newspaper still makes an overwhelming share of its money from newspaper advertising and sales. Online revenue is minor now, though it is supposedly the future.

Since I left the paper on May 1, I can’t count the number of people who have told me that they now read it online and stopped buying it. I’ll just say it is a very scary number in the demographic that reads the newspaper. If the new format drives more people to buy the paper, then I’m all for it. However, one does wonder if the readers who have moved online can be brought back to the paper. That certainly won’t happen to readers like my son who live out of town.

One of the things that I haven’t been able to find in the new format is the former blog, “Talkin’ TV,” that inspired this blog, stilltalkinTV. It appears “Talkin’ TV” has been abandoned at least for now. I suspect the new format is a work in progress so perhaps things will change.

If online is really the future, one would think the newspaper would be adding new blogs and not cutting popular ones that deal with the most powerful medium in the country. But the Buffalo News seems to think that pop music is the most powerful entertainment medium in the country.

* It is time to mention a relatively new Time Warner annoyance. The fast forward feature in the DVR makes it easier to bypass commercials. However, it makes it harder to get to the exact spot a viewer wants because the technology often has a mind of its own and returns to the spot it wants to return to after the end of the commercials. I like the old way better because I could control where I wanted the DVR to land.

* NBC has officially confirmed what you read here weeks ago – that series lead Steve Carell is leaving “The Office” after this season. The show will go on -- it is one of NBC’s few demographic hits – but Carell’s shoes are big ones to fill.

* The Buffalo News smartly featured the return of AMC’s “Mad Men” in a TV Topics cover story Sunday. However, if a reader hadn’t seen the previous seasons, I suspect he or she wouldn’t know who the characters were because the writer assumed the story was only going to be read by the show's regular viewers. And there aren't that many of them.

*ESPN’s Adam Schefter is scheduled to attend the Buffalo Bills camp on Wednesday, Aug. 4 as part of the sports network’s feature of having Schefter and Chris Mortensen visit 32 training camps in 19 days.

* Fresh from his headline grabbing victory in a federal case in which a couple was convicted of extortion in a plot against him, John Stamos is a very busy actor. He just appeared on Sunday's episode of HBO’s “Entourage” and now comes words that he will guest as a dentist on “Glee” next season. His character may get involved with guidance counselor Emma (Jayma Mays), according to a Fox release.

* Martin Bashir is leaving ABC’s “Nightline” for NBC’s “Dateline.” I can’t see it having much of an impact on other show.

* If Terrell Owens signs with the Cincinnati Bengals, I suppose we should give VH-1 some credit. T.O.’s reality show follows another reality show by Cincinnati receiver Chad Ochocinco on the cable network every Sunday. Ochocinco’s dating show makes Owens’ show look like an Emmy winner.



  1. Hey I have to disagree with you on this one. I personally think the new look on The Buffalo News website is a good move. I like the bold clean layout. It has a very CNN feel to it (hopefully this will attract all the 18-35 computer junkies to read the newspaper both online and in print.) It’s hard to let go of the idea of people “picking up” the paper in print, but these are changing times. The medium may change, but the objective should remain the same. Strong journalists and photographers put their blood, sweat and tears into those stories. So I appreciate the new format. There are still ad opportunities online. My only wish is that they should showcase the multimedia pieces at 1st glance. You know, on the landing page. I hate hunting for those packages. Hey, if people are going to go out and put their multimedia pieces together, why not show it off. #justsaying

  2. "However, one does wonder if the readers who have moved online can be brought back to the paper."

    Not to mention the decade of readers who have grown up ONLY reading it online.

    Time to stop thinking about people who LEFT the print edition and start thinking about people who have never or likely never will read the pulp version.

    I think the design change itself is a good one. But I don't think it'll made a bit of difference in how anyone consumes the content.

  3. Crikey, I thought it was ME, not Time Warner, doing something weird with the frickin' clicker - drives me crazy!