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Published 5:20pm Thursday, March 1, 2012

Perhaps you have noticed that your newspaper has taken on a different look in recent months — and it is just the appetizer for the dinner to come. Kim Wynn, Leader Publications’ page designer, has added color and improved display of our content. Based on feedback from readers it has been a good step.
As we go about our business of building your newspaper each day we are busy behind the scenes working on a major redesign planned to launch on April 2. The greatest change will be the size of the paper. With our new tabloid format you will no longer need to have long arms to hold the paper open. Off the Water and the Leader are already in this tabloid format.
At the same time we are changing the size of the newspapers, we are also putting great thought into what we write about and how we plan each day’s product. We are asking ourselves, “What is it that we believe our readers would like to see?” And we are asking you the same question.
Each day of the week, each week of the month we will try to be as consistent as possible. Our first three to four pages will consistently be general local news. From there we will plan which page we will run obituaries, sports, comics and so on. We will also run regular community features. For example the Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce recently began writing a column the third Monday of each month in the Niles Daily Star.  We have offered the similar opportunity to similar organizations as well as local government to discuss what is going on in the community in their own words.
We plan to have a mock-up of our products by March 15. The following week we will hold meetings in Niles, Dowagiac, Edwardsburg, Cassopolis and Buchanan to discuss our plans with interested readers and to get feedback on our work. While our goal is to cover as much of our local community news as possible, we are limited by staff size and will try to cover anything that we believe has a large general interest. We are always open to content both stories and photographs from our readers. You are our eyes and ears in the community.
Also coming in April, we will no longer publish a Saturday edition of the Niles Daily Star. We anticipate the post office will no longer offer Saturday service in the near future. Second, our small newsroom of six people is tasked to produce 14 newspapers every week. Saving that one day will allow us a little more time for better quality content. For our high school sports fans, our ace sports editor Scott Novak will still be publishing Friday night sports reports in real time online.
Speaking of online, expect to see one convenient, consolidated website for all of our newspapers at, along with for regional arts and entertainment and just plain fun.

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