Fort Mill Times, website, getting a modern makeover

October 21, 2013 

Dear Reader,

Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 30, the Fort Mill Times will have a new look. Similar changes are being made at its sister publications, The Herald, Lake Wylie Pilot and Enquirer-Herald.

In addition, the Fort Mill Times, the Pilot and Enquirer-Herald will all roll out a new look on their websites next week.

There are several reasons we’re making the change.

Behind the scenes, we design our newspapers and websites using a sophisticated production system called Newsgate. It is time to upgrade Newsgate. This is not a small task and if we wish to make any other changes affecting design or production specifications, it makes sense to do all these things at one time.

As we improve our production system, this is the perfect opportunity to give your newspaper a fresher, cleaner look. Among our new features: story readability will be improved, as we move to slightly larger type. New headline typefaces are crisp and efficient, allowing for more words in headlines to give you a better sense of what a story’s about. Labeling is designed with the scanning reader in mind. Smaller section headings will allow more room for news.

We have also been contemplating a change to our printing process. For several years, we have printed using the press of our McClatchy sister newspaper, The Charlotte Observer. There is a strong likelihood we will move printing to our other McClatchy newspaper neighbor, The State, in Columbia. The State’s press is a different size than The Observer’s.

That means that until we make the move to Columbia, our printed page will be a bit smaller than The Observer’s page. The look will be similar to what you see in national newspapers like the Wall Street Journal. Ideally, I would have preferred to make all these changes on the date we move our printing operation. But, our systems upgrade can’t wait and to go ahead with this conversion, we’ve needed to design to our best prediction of what our long-term printing plan will be.

Changes to the online edition of the Fort Mill Times and our two other community newspapers include a fresh new look and a reorganized navigation system that is designed to make it easy for you to find the news you want to read.

Our editors and designers are excited about the enhanced tools our upgraded Newsgate system will provide them. I hope you will be equally pleased with the new face of your newspaper.

Sincerely,

Debbie Abels

President & Publisher

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