News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


‘The only reason I take the paper is ...’

"Mr. Wright," the caller said a few weeks back, "what's happened to Billy Graham?"

She wanted to know why the Rev. Graham's daily devotional that has run in this paper for more than 40 years hadn't appeared lately.

Similar calls, although not as many, came about Hints from Heloise no longer being in the newspaper. Long-time readers missed her handy tidbits.

"Billy Graham is the only reason I take the paper," one reader said. He wanted the column restored, probably stretching the truth about what he reads.

Both features are back now, not because we think they are widely read, but because we don't like to disappoint readers. We had hoped to replace them with features having wider appeal, and may yet when we find the right ones.

Knowing which features are most popular isn't easy. We've run survey forms in the newspaper and asked readers to respond. In proportion to the number of readers, the response is always disappointing.

Thus, we resort to taking a feature out and sitting back and waiting for reaction.

We're dropping another one beginning this week that is sure to upset some people, but we will attempt to compensate.

The TeenFront, which ran weekly, is being discontinued. We'll still publish articles that appeal specifically to teens and young adults, perhaps in Current which is being discontinued in its present form, but will return as a page in the Living section.

As you've read in THE DAILY and heard on television, newspapers nationwide are losing circulation because people say they don't have time to read anymore.

Some of the problem is of our own making. Most newspapers created an abbreviated online version, and some readers simply switched from paper to electronic editions.

We must find ways to bring readers back. So, look for more changes in coming months. We will bounce back with more readers than ever, supplying news and information that better reflects changing reading habits.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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