The start of 2014 has been a season of upgrades for the Herald-Leader and Kentucky.com.
In recent weeks, we've launched a series of redesigned and upgraded apps for iPads, iPhones and Android tablet and mobile devices. We've rolled out a new KentuckySports.com iPad app full of news about University of Kentucky sports.
Today, you'll notice the printed Herald-Leader also is getting a fresh new look.
The changes start at the very top of the front page, where the image of a traditional race horse and jockey returns to our Herald-Leader nameplate after an absence of several years. You'll also find a new look for the Kentucky.com logo, with an emphasis on Kentucky.
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That's one key goal of today's new look — highlighting the special sense of place in the region we cover, and the uniquely Kentucky stories that Herald-Leader reporters, columnists, photographers and artists deliver every day.
We also wanted to make the newspaper easier to navigate and read, starting by increasing the size of the type in stories to address concerns we've heard from some readers that the type was too small.
Borrowing a popular feature from our Sunday newspaper, we've added a column of Must Reads to page 1, to help identify some of the most interesting articles and features in other parts of the newspaper.
We've made it easier to find the Herald-Leader's local columnists, with more prominent column photos and labels to highlight their unique voices and perspectives on topics of interest around Kentucky and the state. And you'll be hearing from some of those unique voices more often, including columnist Paul Prather, whose observations on life and faith will appear weekly in the Living Sunday section, starting Jan. 26.
Our City/Region page gets a new name to reflect the heart of our coverage area: Bluegrass. There, you'll still find the most comprehensive report of news and happenings from around the region.
In addition, Tuesday through Saturday, the daily Business page will move out of Sports and into the A section of the newspaper with other local news pages. (Please note: There will be no Business page in this Tuesday's newspaper because markets are closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.)
And I'd like to introduce you to a new feature — which we've dubbed The Feed — that will appear every day at the top of our major sections and spotlight the vast number of local stories, blog items, photo galleries, videos, social media posts and more on Kentucky.com, our apps and other sites, including KentuckySports.com and LexGo.com.
I invite you to check this news feed over your morning coffee each day, and find even more ways to engage with us online.
Our features sections will be getting some new touches, focused on local people, trends and information you can use. Some features sections will be changing names and days — our popular Neighbors section moves to the Tuesday newspaper, where it will continue to be filled with the neighborhood-level stories, news and listings you expect.
Food content will move to the Wednesday Living section to give our dedicated food readers a jump on their meal planning and grocery shopping.
Some favorites will be staying put — Weekender and Business Monday, for example.
On other days, the features sections will simply become Living, and highlight the best stories of local interest about health, home, faith, arts, culture and life.
You'll also see some new local features, including a monthly column on saving money at home by Janet Patton (debuting Feb. 1) and a column called Smashing! by fashion writer Harriett Hendren that will go inside the closets of our most stylish readers (launching Jan. 25). Harriett's popular weekly shopping column will remain but will move to Living on Thursday.
And you'll be seeing more of me in the paper, with an occasional column on Monday's Bluegrass page to answer your questions about the Herald-Leader and discuss topics related to the ever-changing universe of news and information.
I appreciate the time you spend with us every day, and the trust you place in the Herald-Leader's staff to deliver news and information about Lexington, Central Kentucky and the state we call home.
With all these upgrades and changes, what won't be changing is the Herald-Leader's commitment to in-depth reporting with a strong sense of place, such as our recent series "50 Years of Night" on the issues facing Eastern Kentucky, and special reports on homelessness in Lexington, the booming Kentucky bourbon industry and "Fields of Dreams," our award-winning series on Central Kentucky horse farms.
Thank you for reading the Herald-Leader, and I invite you to let me know what you think of the new look at firstname.lastname@example.org.