"When asked why the paper didn't invest more in the paper's Web site, [Sun-Times] Editor-in-Chief Michael Cooke was heard to say that nobody believes what they read on the Internet."
When you parse that logic, you will understand the Sun-Times.
And more, also, from Steve Rhodes's Beachwood Reporter:
"The gossip about the Sun-Times redesign is that the paper spent a ton of dough on focus groups in order to find out that Chicagoans want to read about . . . Chicago. The paper's leaders have apparently also tried to fire up the staff by telling them the Trib has signed their 'death warrant.' Folks at the Sun-Times were also told, sources say, to keep the whole thing 'hush-hush from Mike Miner and the Beachwood.'"
My first reactions:
* The new headline font is perfect. It looks like the font Sports Illustrated recently commissioned--straightforward sans-serif with just enough oddness to be visually intriguing. That's the best new element.
* Need 2 Know? Need 2 Know???? C'mon. That page is total chaos anyway.
* So on the big day, the big exciting redesign launch that's supposed to rededicate the Sun-Times to local coverage, the front page story is? "Hello, Dalai: Christian group plans to welcome Buddhist leader to Chicago by trying to convert his followers," a national story about a contrived controversy that coincides with a famous person's visit.
* A story, incidentally, which is nowhere to be found on the newspaper's homepage right now. Strangely, I don't believe the story any more for that.
* Generally speaking, it's a cleaner, more open design. Not as pleasantly anachronistic as it used to be, but certainly easier to read.