Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Fairview spin

The positive spin of Sun Media management in the face of the dictated "weekly sameness" we have been talking about is admirable.

Take a read of how the Fairview Post, a weekly in Alberta, explains to readers changes to be made to the paper next Tuesday. TSF has highlighted a few comments in bold.

It reads:

In the more than 60 years the Fairview Post has been serving the Fairview area and surrounding communities, the paper has undergone a number of style and format changes and next week the evolution of the Post will take one more step forward.

The Jan. 12 edition of the Fairview Post will have a new look and new size. Post publisher Scott Fitzpatrick said that a number of readers have suggested that the Fairview Post change to a smaller, easier to read tabloid format, much like the Peace Country Sun, and given the cost of paper and printing these days the new smaller sized Fairview Post will be beneficial for everyone.

In addition to the smaller format the Fairview Post, a Sun Media publication, will be taking on a whole new look similar to other Sun Media publications. It's to keep a more uniform look along with its sister publications, Fitzpatrick pointed out.

He noted that the front page, the sports page and editorial page will have a new fresher look, but the paper itself will still cater to local news and issues that affect the area and its residents.

"If you can read about it in the Edmonton Sun or New York Times, I don't want it in the Fairview Post. We are a local newspaper and will continue to provide local coverage of people, politics, and issues concerning our home towns and the things that we need to be aware of," he said.

He also noted that subscription prices will remain the same, and that the new smaller pages will help advertisers in that their ads will now have more page dominance as there will be fewer ads on the page.

"Even though the paper size will change, we are still in the business of recording Fairview and area's history one week at a time."

End of story.

Let us know how keeping external Sun Media/QMI content out of the Fairview Post works out for you this year.


  1. "If you can read about it in the Edmonton Sun or New York Times, I don't want it in the Fairview Post".


    Isn't it amazing that we now have what is called a "Hundred Mile Diet" (eating food only grown within 100 miles of your house) so that yuppies can feel good about themselves, but many of the same people want to read about Tiger Woods in their local paper?

    Why not a "Hundred Mile" diet of news? Or a hundred blocks here in the city.

    Tell me why the building just down the street from me collapsed. Tell me more about the guy running for council. Tell me if there was a break in just down the street from me. I can read about Tiger Woods (if I care to) in a million places. Only a local media source can do give me truly local news. And I'm willing to pay for it, too...

  2. Oh, Fairview will keep the Edmonton Sun/QMI stuff out of it, for sure. Don't worry about that.

    For one thing, if it needs supplementary copy, it'll turn to the place it's always turned to: the Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune 90 minutes down the road (that's where the Post is printed).

    Yeah, OK. That would technically be "QMI" copy, but the Post and the DHT are long-time sisters from the Bowes days. The Post, the DHT and the Peace River Record-Gazette have been borrowing from each other for years.

    There's nothing wrong with that, of course, and Mr. Fitzgerald is quite correct in boasting about his local content. Like Reggie Jackson once said: It ain't braggin' if it's true.

    But there's another reason why Fairview won't need Sun/QMI copy or photos and... well .. how can I put this gently?

    Here it goes: In the Post, there's no such thing as one single grip-and-grin page. Group photos, cheque presentations, people shaking hands with other people in an uncomfortable manner - all are fair-game for the front. Above the fold. Nice and big.

    I don't expect any weekly - Fairview or otherwise - to defend that. It's been standard operating procedure at understaffed weeklies for years and years.

  3. One more thing: A common, sharp-looking front page is probably the best thing that could happen to a lot of those weeklies. Anything that keeps them from looking like the Springfield Shopper.