New, improved TV package, special section coming

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

We have a couple cool things cooking here at the News-Herald this week.

The first is an expanded TV grid with more information that I believe will debut on Friday.

The News-Herald at one time had a tabloid section of TV listings that was costing us more to produce and distribute than it brought in our revenue (Our guiding principal here is to try to spend less than we bring in).

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In addition, with the preponderance of cable channels and satellite TV systems, it's impossible for a newspaper to produce a complete guide to what's on the tube n particularly a paper the size of the News-Herald. The Pilot does about as well as can be expected with its TV section, but it's limited as well.

When we dropped our tab, we at first decided to run no TV listings, but that was met with some reader resistance. Then we went to a primetime grid, but we've had difficulty with it as well. At first we listed the channels by their Charter cable number, but got lots of complaints from those who weren't Charter customers n right many of you I've found.

The new grid will feature just the network's call letters and will have a few additional mainstream channels. It will also include "Best Bets" information as well as a listing of sports on TV. I think you'll find it a vast improvement.

On Sunday, we'll publish our "Handbook" section, basically a newcomer's guide for Isle of Wight County. It's part of our troika of such publications n "Sketchbook" in July is for Suffolk and "Guidebook" in August is a similar publication for Franklin.

The News-Herald has small circulation in Isle of Wight and Franklin, but it is propped up by The Tidewater Shopper, which is porch-delivered to every household in Windsor (No publication has further reach there) and some 3,000 households in Franklin.

In the interest of "regionalism," we feel providing information about our neighbors is a good thing for us to do. Working most of the time as I do, I rarely get out of Suffolk, but on Sunday, my wife joined me on a long drive through Isle of Wight so I could shoot photos for the section. We stopped in downtown Smithfield for

a while and strolled the streets. It was a fun day, and while I encourage you to shop locally as much as possible, you're missing a different experience if you don't visit our neighbors from time to time.

Hopefully, our section Sunday will provide you with some good information.