Record Express undergoes most significant redesign in more than 75 years

By on February 13, 2014
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What’s new in local news?

Record Express undergoes most significant redesign in more than 75 years

New and and improved website also unveiled

It’s a new day for your 136-year-old Lititz Record Express.

Following more than six months of planning, a re-designed Record Express came rolling off the presses Wednesday morning, highlighted by an easier-to-handle paper width, color on every page, new graphics, features and columns.

Though the paper certainly has seen plenty of change since its debut in 1877, the Record’s management is confident this edition represents the most significant redesign since 1937, when the Lititz Record and Express merged.

In addition to the significant editorial changes, there was also a major adjustment made in the circulation department when most home delivery subscribers were shifted from mail to news carrier two weeks ago, getting the paper into the hands of readers in a much timelier fashion (see note below).

The most noticeable change, however, is sure to to be the size of the paper. Last summer, Record Express readers were asked how they would feel about changing the width of the paper to perhaps something more like the size used by parent company Lancaster Newspapers. There was a clear consensus among those who responded – make it smaller so that it is easier to handle. But many of the people who approved of the smaller size, did so under the condition that the point size not be reduced to accommodate for the smaller size. It has not been and we will do our very best to continue publishing the same amount of the local news you have come to expect each week in your hometown paper.

On the front page you will notice a significant change to the masthead, that hopefully also continues to reflect the rich history of the paper and the town. Additionally, you will see some different uses of photography other artwork and styles. Inside, each and every page of the paper will feature full color photos. Sections which previously have almost always been exclusively black and white such as the social and church news as well as obituaries, will now be in color. Sports fans will no longer have to deal with their favorite section being half color and half black and white. Everything is in color (unless a particular image does not have a color version…typically submitted or archive photos), on each page, each and every week.

Regular readers will also notice a reorganization of many of the pages also adorned with new designs, headers and fonts. There have been slight changes to the order of the pages, again, with the attempt to make the paper more user-friendly. One significant change is moving the redesigned entertainment and Dining Out pages to the B section behind sports. This change allows for offering both hometown and regional listings and features.

Scattered throughout the paper on various pages are several new features or enhancements such as “Did You Hear?” which we hope will grow in popularity each week as more and more readers grow familiar with it and get comfortable with how easy it is to submit items to through email. There is also an exciting and innovative new cartoon by Lititz’s own Bill Dussinger called “Lititz Hysterical Society,” which will incorporate both modern and historical characters and storylines into the same panel; Bruce Morgan’s revived “Where Are They Now? sports feature; Michael Upton’s new “Hopin’ Around” entertainment feature; rotating community columnists; new logos on the police page; and many more photos of local columnists to help readers place faces with the names. And the improvements don’t stop with this issue. In the coming weeks and months, we will be looking to add new local contributors and features.

“These enhancements were implemented to deliver even greater relevance to our readers,” said William Burgess, president and publisher of Lancaster County Weeklies. “More local reporting, more in-depth coverage of important issues like public works, zoning, school board decisions, and public safety. “It Matters” will focus on community organizations and events, covering our readers’ many extraordinary efforts to help improve the lives of their neighbors, friends and children. Our editorial staff, led by Andy Fasnacht, has made a tremendous commitment to the changes in terms of time and effort. Beverly Kent, manager of our advertising department, has contributed to these efforts by implementing advertising initiatives and increased distribution for our advertisers.”

In addition, interactions with this paper should be as simple as possible. Along with information being readily available in the main contact box, printed each week stories are tagged with information about how to reach the author or editors.

New and improved website

Residents will notice some significant changes to the lititzrecord.com website, including additional content, improved visuals and more simplified user tools for submitting articles, making changes to a subscription, placing ads, etc. Bookmark this page, in addition to the Record Express Facebook page, and make them part of your regular surfing and communication routine.

The Record would very much like your feedback on these changes. It’s important for us to know how you, the reader, feels about what’s been done if this paper is set to go on for another 136 years.

Whether you grew up with this paper, have had it on your coffee table for 50 years or more, or are new to town and have only recently become a regular reader – we want to hear from all of you.

Please send comments to editor Andy Fasnacht at 721-4421 or afasnacht.eph@lnpnews.com or associate editor Steve Seeber at 721-4423 or sseeber.eph@lnpnews.com.

We apologize for any glitches that may have or may continue to occur in the transition to hand-carried papers. If you did not receive your paper, have other concerns or would like to have your subscription switched back to mail, please contact our circulation department at 721-4412.

Andy Fasnacht is the editor for the Lititz Record Express.

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