If you're a fan of the current Trib design and layout, you might want to stash this week's papers away in the basement; the redesigned Trib launches a week from today. And to celebrate, the Trib will be offering up free copies of the Trib all day next Monday to give you a chance to check out the redesign.
We've spoken our mind about it before (as did some of you) and we're still not into it. In his letter to the readership, Trib Editor Gerry Kern calls the new Trib, "bolder and brighter, better organized and more relevant to your daily life." Fine, but the new design just seems clunky to us; we had nothing against the current design of the Trib. If the Trib really wants to stay relevant, we hope they've decided to also examine the actual content of the paper. I'm not saying there are any particular columnists that are awful or should be cut. On the contrary, there are a few I personally enjoy reading on a regular basis (Zorn, Kot, Maureen, etc.) And I'm not the only one who thinks the Trib still produces plenty of great, relevant reading. But the Trib's recent flirtation with Mariotti shows not only a lack of awareness in what readers like, but it shows a potential unwillingness to actually improve on the content of the paper. Would Mariotti really have been that different with the Trib than with the S-T? My magic 8-ball says "not likely."
My point (I swear there is one) is simply this: you can use bigger fonts and bigger pictures all you want, but turning the Trib into a newspaper version of Us Weekly will only take you so far. Maybe I'm wrong; maybe there is more substance to this relaunch than just slapping on a new coat of paint. We'll see next Monday. But, for now, this move smells of desperation so I'm not holding my breath.