A look at today’s most interesting Fourth of July pages

Here’s a look at some of the day’s most interesting Fourth of July pages…

Colorado Springs, Colo.
Circulation: 70,021

The best page of the day, hands down, is an enormous page-one illustration that ran the front of today’s Colorado Springs Gazette.

The Gazette‘s Stephanie Swearngin tells us:

We wanted to do something a little different for July 4, because the holiday always seems to be a very light news day for us.

I threw out a couple of ideas to our presentation director. The original idea that I had was to run quick fun tidbits, history blurbs or by the numbers related to July 4. For example, how many people consume hot dogs on the 4th? Or what’s the history behind using fireworks? But sadly, I didn’t have time to implement that idea since I’m also heavily involved with preparing for our DTI upgrade.

So, the photo staff came in and saved the day. Michael Ciaglo, photographer, created this photo illustration. He was able to shoot sparklers and place a red and blue background behind it to create the flag. Michael and our photo editor called me over to show me the work in progress. At that moment we decided it would run full page.

Click this for a much larger view:


And they ran it sideways, too! Note how the placement of the nameplate still put it above the fold.

Stephanie continues:

I discussed the new idea with Dena Rosenberry, presentation director, and we ran with it.

We also wanted to run a few promos on the page to inform readers of the news of the day. That part was a little tricky, since I didn’t want to put those directly on the image of the flag. So I worked closely with Michael to extend a little extra blue background to separate the promos without taking away the attention from the flag.

This was just another fun way to celebrate the holiday with our readers.

Excellent work. As is this next one…

The Villages, Fla.
Circulation: 44,624

The Daily Sun of the Villages, Fla., ran a big story today on local folks who have ancestors who fought for the country’s freedom, 238 or so years ago.

The paper made a bold decision to illustrate this on page one. With a wonderful watercolor painting…


…that was done by the editor of the paper herself, Bonita Burton.

I love this. And I’m not just saying that because she hired me to teach at her paper three weeks ago.


Although that does show she has exquisite tastes.

Chicago, Ill.
Distribution: 250,000

RedEye — the Chicago Tribune‘s free commuter tab — illustrated its Thursday front page with this giant illustration of fireworks over the windy city.


The photo illustration is by staffer Lenny Gilmore.

Shreveport, La.
Circulation: 37,666

The Times of Shreveport, La., illustrated page one today with this military-themed piece that highlighted the sacrifices the military have made to secure our freedom.


I might argue this would seem more appropriate for Memorial Day — but, then again, I might be wrong. Either way, it’s a gorgeous presentation.


And, while we’re talking about flag-centric illustrations, let’s take note of the two papers that used giant U.S. flag motifs on page one today.

On the left is the Daily Herald of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., that wrapped a few interesting factoids and refers to inside around a flag.


On the right is the News Tribune of Duluth, Minn., that inserted quotes from local folks on what freedom means to them.

Average daily circulation of the Daily Herald is 8,259 . The News Tribune circulates 30,606 papers daily.

A few papers chose to lead today with huge photos.

Fall River, Mass.
Circulation: 14,979

The tiny Herald News of Fall River, Mass., led today with a poster-sized photo of a back-lit U.S. flag.


The picture is by staffer Jack Foley.

Appleton, Wis.

The Gannett paper in Appleton bucked the trend set today by the rest of the company’s Wisconsin papers — more about that in a moment — with this fabulous shot of a local family enjoying fireworks last night.


Now, that picture — by staffer William Glasheen — is just gorgeous.

Burlington, Vt.

The Gannett paper in Burlington, Vt., also led today with a picture of fireworks shot last night.


What I really like about that one: The headline.

Yeah, the weather on the East Coast isn’t what folks would have hoped for this holiday weekend. But at least the Free Press got a great line out of it.

Nationally distributed

One of my favorite pages of the day ran on the front of the USA Today section that inserted in various Gannett papers around the country today in what that company calls “the butterfly edition.”


The picture was shot at Fort McHenry, Md. — the very fort over which flew the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that would later become the words to our National Anthem. This year, the caption notes, is the 200th anniversary of that poem — it dates from the War of 1812, as opposed to the Revolutionary War.

USA Today‘s Abby Westcott tells us:

My photo editor, Chris Powers, approached me with what he thought was a different and interesting photo from freelancer Matt Roth. I thought it was a good opportunity to go big with it for the 4th of July and take over the page for America. Everyone loves America.

My editor was on board and loved the design.

And I love Abby’s work. I gushed over it at length here.


Several papers today chose to lead page one with giant Independence Day-themed alternative story forms or graphics.

Greensboro, N.C.

Perhaps the most fun of these was this one by Margaret Baxter of the Greensboro News & Record.


Birmingham, Ala.

Advance’s Alabama papers led today with a roundup of factoids focusing on Alabama — or, to be more precise, the region that became Alabama. Since, after all, Alabama wasn’t a state yet during the Revolutionary War.


I think the Birmingham version was a bit more effective than the Huntsville version, which saw its page topper eliminated to make room for the larger ad across the bottom of the page.


Average daily circulation for Huntsville is 44,725

Frederick, Md.

The News-Post of Frederick, Md., cited a handful of “big number” factoids and illustrated them with a collection of local Independence Day photos from their files.


I like that quite a bit. It’s clever, it’s local and it’s attractive.

The word cloud at bottom right: Not quite so much.

UPDATE – 5:40 p.m. PDT

I’m told this page was designed by News-Post news editor J.R. Williams, formerly with the Pensacola News Journal.


The folks at the nation’s largest newspaper company also built a really great Fourth of July infographic that ran today in at least nine papers.

The largest and most elaborate version I could find of this was this one, afront the Reporter of Fond du Lac, Wis., circulation 10,186.


Click that for a larger, readable view.

There is, in fact, a lot of really fun stuff there. Unfortunately, I have no idea who put it together. If any of my Gannettoid friends out there can enlighten me, I’d love to dish a little credit here.

I suspect this came out of the Des Moines design studio, because it ran in five of Gannett’s Wisconsin papers, which are all designed there in Iowa.


From left to right:

  • News-Herald, Marshfield, Wis. – Circulation 8,139
  • Daily Tribune, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – Circulation 7,924
  • Northwestern, Oshkosh, Wis. – Circulation 14,113
  • Press-Gazette, Green Bay, Wis. – Circulation 41,767

UPDATE – 3:50 p.m. PDT

Sean McKeown-Young of the Gannett studio in Des Moines confirms this was his work:

It started as a small graphic that I shared out. Green Bay asked if I could blow it up into a centerpiece. Then, on Tuesday, Appleton asked if I could make it into a full page. It evolved.

The package — or major pieces of it — also ran in at least four other Gannett papers around the country.


From left to right:

  • News-Star, Monroe, La. – Circulation 23,884
  • News Journal, Pensacola, Fla. – Circulation 40,435
  • Democrat, Tallahassee, Fla. – Circulation 35,238
  • Bulletin, Baxter, Ark. – Circulation 9,156

Santa Ana, Calif.
Circulation: 162,894

And what did my own paper do today for the Fourth? My good pal Kurt Snibbe took great care of my Focus page — inside the A section — in my absence this week, building this quiz with which to test your knowledge of the Declaration of Independence.


Unfortunately, that’s the largest copy I have of this. If I can get ahold of a PDF, I’ll replace this image with one that might be clickable and readable.

That page would have also appeared in today’s Los Angeles Register and in the Press-Enterprise of Riverside.


But just to prove you don’t necessarily have to be quite so elaborate with your Fourth of July package in order to catch a few eyeballs, consider the nameplate play today by the…

Jackson, Miss.
Circulation: 57,710


There! Wasn’t that fun?

With the exception of the USA Today butterfly section front and the OC Register Focus page, all of these images are from the Newseum. Of course.

  • From 2013: The one Fourth of July page you really need to see
  • From 2012: Today’s five best Fourth of July front pages
  • From 2011: Thirteen wonderful front pages for the Fourth of July
  • Also from 2011: It’s hard to beat a Fourth-of-July presentation like this

Today’s best Christmas Day front pages

A well-known secret in the world of newspapers: It’s very, very difficult to sell a newspaper from a newsrack or convenience store on Christmas Day. Single-copy sales take a huge, huge nosedive on many holidays — other than Thanksgiving, of course.

Also, news rarely happens on Christmas Eve. And most papers push deadlines up early.

As a result, Christmas is often the one day a year even the most conservatively-designed newspapers might take a chance with a large illustration or Christmas card-like photo on page one.

Creativity reigns. Sometimes.

Here’s a look at some of today’s most interesting page-one treatments…

The Birmingham (Ala.) News led today with a fun story about a gag Christmas gift.


The art, I think, is interesting and understated. The red and yellow also provides a gorgeous contrast with the wonderful blue artwork above the nameplate.

Naturally, all of Advance’s Alabama papers used the same centerpiece today.


The Record of Stockton, Calif., wrote a fun A-to-Z guide with Christmas factoids and trivia. The story was presented in the form of a huge Christmas present.


I suspect some of that is stock art. But still, it’s a darned good use of stock art.

My pal Sean McKeown-Young — the Wisconsin team leader at the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa — designed a series of snowglobes to run across the tops of the array of papers for which he’s responsible.

Sean tells us:

I riffed on what I did last year. I wasn’t absolutely thrilled with how the 2012 versions came out. I wanted to do something that felt more dramatic and aligned to the page.

In all cases, Sean tried to find imagery that meant something to each specific town.Here’s Appleton…


…Fond du Lac…










…Stevens Point…





…and Wisconsin Rapids.


Here’s what each looked like atop their respective front pages.


The Post-Gazette of Pittsburgh continued its tradition of using art from the Westmoreland Museum of American Art on its Christmas Day front page.


That one was painted by Will J. Hyett in 1912. This is the eighth year the Post-Gazette has used vintage this way.

The Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee has a similar tradition — it asks local folks for nominations and then has a panel of experts choose each year’s page-one art.

This year, the winner was a Christmas tree painted by the late Robert Schellin.


The News-Item of Shamokin, Pa., held a contest among student artists to choose art for page one. The winning entry — of the St. Pauline Center in nearby Kulpmont — was by Alexia Wheary.


A number of papers lead their Christmas front pages with religious paintings or photos of manger scene dioramas or whatnot. One of the best of these this year was the Morning News of Sumter, S.C., which used stained-glass windows from two local churches to built a photoillustration.


The pictures were made by staffer John P. Russell. The Episcopal and Baptist windows were then combined by staffer Justin Johnson.

Also, a number of papers led today with imagery of manger scene reenactments. I loved the way the Gastonia, N.C., Gazette color-coordinated its nameplate with its lead art today.


It’s hard to go wrong with a cute kid. The picture is by staffer Mike Hensdill.

I didn’t care so much for the red ribbon, or the squashing in of two more tiny photos downpage.

And David Clemons, publisher of the Times-Journal of Fort Payne, Ala., wrote to say:

I wanted to pass along the work of my chief designer, Huck Treadwell, and chief photographer, Melissa Henry. We were encouraged by your postings of great Christmas fronts in past years and wanted to do something that captured the right spirit for our readers this year. I was really pleased with what they did.

Layout 1

The top picture is of one of our best local light shows and the main art is of a production at a local cave, Sequoyah Caverns, which actually closed this year but reopened for the Christmas season just to produce the live Nativity (with the notable exception of the baby, much to Melissa’s chagrin). The caverns are between Fort Payne and Chattanooga, Tenn., a place I know you’ve mentioned spending time before.

Very, very nice. I also like the photo in the nameplate/skybox area. Best wishes to the great folks in Fort Payne.

The Brainerd Dispatch in Minnesota shot a family of carolers for today’s front page.


Notice how the colors of the front-page typography fits with the candlelit photo by staffer Steve Kohls.

There are a number of papers that turn scenic photos — or gag Santa-centric photos — into Christmas Day art for page one.

The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, Mass., used a nice picture of Boylston Common by staffer Christine Peterson.


Nicely done, but I’d argue the wreath in the headline detracts from the photo.

The Repository of Canton, Ohio, led with staffer Scott Heckel‘s photo of the Stark County Courthouse, as seen through the branches of a Christmas tree.


The Wichita Eagle focused on a gloriously red Cardinal, outstanding in snowcovered branches.


The picture is uncredited, unfortunately.

The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser ran a picture by staffer Mickey Welsh of the huge Christmas tree in front of the state capitol building.


The Cleveland Plain Dealer chose two holiday-themed photos for page one today. The larger one up top is of a rehearsal for a local production of the Nutcracker.


The photo is by staffer Lisa DeJong.

The downpage photo of kids on a special holiday ride at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is by staffer Joshua Gunter.

The Times-Shamrock papers of Pennsylvania had staffer Bob Sanchuk build photo illustrations showing an exhausted Santa Claus reading the local newspaper while his reindeer steals his hot chocolate.


I thought the image played best on the front of the tab-sized Citizens’ Voice of Wilkes-Barre.


And two papers — that I know of — elected to turn their photographic Christmas card fronts sideways.

The first is the Gazette of Colorado Springs, which went with this gorgeous picture by Christian Murdock.


The other are my colleagues at the Orange County Register, here in Santa Ana, Calif.


The picture of Santa and his elf assistant loading up his Woody at Huntington Beach is by Leonard Ortiz. Design director Karen Kelso did the art directing.

Those wrapped presents sat around our office for days.

The Fort Payne front page and some of the Gannett Wisconsin pages are from those papers. The rest are all from the Newseum. Of course.

Today was football poster front day

Today was poster front day in the land of winning college football teams.

Here’s a quick sampling of front pages, as found at the Newseum…

Columbia, S.C.

The news: Arch rivals South Carolina and Clemson went into Saturday’s game both ranked in the top ten — the first time that’s ever happened. South Carolina stomped Clemson 31-17 to give the Gamecocks its fifth straight win over the Tigers.

The front page: Featured a post-game celebration shot by State staffer Gerry Melendez.


My take: I’d prefer a nice action shot. But, yeah, if you’re a Gamecock fan, you probably love this page.

I’m a Clemson fan. So naturally, I’m trying to hold down my lunch…

Tallahassee, Fla.

The news: Florida State buried Florida 37-7 to go undefeated. Unless they do something stupid in the ACC championship game against Duke, expect the Seminoles to play for a national championship.

Florida, meanwhile, finishes 4-8 and will spend the offseason trying to figure out why two Gators were blocking each other in the Georgia Southern game last weekend.

The front: Was built around this gorgeous picture of Kelvin Benjamin — who caught three touchdown passes yesterday — by staffer Mike Ewen.


My take: I’ve never minded headlines on or in a photo, as long as they don’t interfere with the foreground of the shot. This one, I think, went a little over the line. Granted, I’m not sure I’d have minded it so much had the picture not been this nice.

Even more obtrusive is the giant bear in the skybox. It’s a good thing he didn’t lean over the red rule and smack the ball out of the air as if it were a trout in a stream.

Big, bold skyboxes can be terrific. Big, bold front page photos can be terrific. But typically, you’re going to want to use one or the other. If you try to cram both onto your page, you end up with something like this.

I would argue that the game and photo would sell enough papers today. Give the skybox the day off.

Columbia, Mo.

The news: Missouri defeated Texas A&M 28-21 to earn a spot in the SEC championship game.

The front: Built around this postgame celebration shot by Kholood Eld.


My take: As I said earlier, I prefer action shots to celebration shots. Count that double if the celebration picture mostly shows backsides. I mean, what’s the point of leading with a celebration if you can’t see the emotion on the faces of the crowd?

That’s the problem with a poster front. You gotta have the right photo. This wasn’t it.

The player being held aloft here — by the way — is defensive end Michael Sam, a finalist for the annual Lombardi award. Perhaps Missouri fans don’t need to be told that. But it’s not like there wasn’t room for a cutline in all that dead space… in the bottom third of the page.

Hattiesburg, Miss.

The news: Southern Miss defeated UAB 62-27, which is an impressively one-sided score. But it’s even more impressive when you learn that the Golden Eagles were suffering through a 23-game losing streak. The win saves Southern Miss from a second consecutive 0-12 season.

The front: Features this impressive photo of Freshman defensive back Kelsey Douglas.


My take: This page — designed, obviously, at a Gannett Design Studio — is truly nice. The headline is huge, but is inserted behind the foreground, so I don’t mind it as much as I did the Tallahassee front. I love the headline, the way it’s tilted and the way the paper’s nameplate was reduced in order to make room for it all.

My complaint here is the lack of a photo credit. If you’re going to run a full-page photo on page one, the least you can do is slap a credit on the thing.

In researching this post, I went to the Hattiesburg American web site to find out who shot the picture — I figured it’d be in an online gallery or something — and what Freshman defensive back Kelsey Douglas was doing in this picture. But the kid isn’t mentioned by name in the game story.

There’s a reference to five UAB turnovers, so I presume this was an interception. But I’m having to guess.

Birmingham, Ala.

The news: Unless you were living under a rock yesterday — or in mourning in Clemson, S.C. — then you know what happened in Alabama yesterday: No. 5-ranked Auburn beat No. 1-ranked Alabama when cornerback Chris Davis caught a missed field goal and returned it 109 yards for a touchdown as time expired.

Some have called it the greatest play in college football history. It’s kind of hard to argue with that.

The front: Davis celebrates afterward. The picture is by Dave Martin of the Associated Press.

Note the fairly unusual swear word in the headline. Which — given what happened — is also kind of hard to argue with.


Naturally, the front page ran all editions for Advance’s Alabama papers.


In the center is the 44,725-circulation Huntsville Times. On the right is the Mobile Press-Register, circulation 82,088.

My take: I really wish we could have seen a picture of the run itself out front. But whatever — again, it’s smart, on a day like this, to please fans who’ll want to run out and buy extra copies of the paper as souvenirs.

However, the same thing applies here that was true for the Hattiesburg paper: If you’re going to run a full-page photo, make room for a photo credit somewhere. It’s the least you can do.

Montgomery, Ala.

The front: Same photo — this time, credited.


My take: I love this headline. It’s the best of the day, in my opinion.

Again, all these front pages are from the Newseum.

Kevin Wendt moving to Advance Digital corporate

Longtime visuals editor Kevin Wendt  — who’s spent the past several years as editor of the Huntsville (Ala.) Times and the past year as vice president of content for Advance Communications’ Alabama Media Group — is moving to corporate at Advance Digital.


AL.com — the online arm of Advance’s Alabama and Mississippi-based publications — reported Friday:

In his new role, Wendt will help develop long-term content strategies to maximize audience growth.

“It’s been a terrific five years in Alabama, and I’m incredibly proud of the team’s work during this transition,” Wendt said. “This new opportunity allows for not only a new challenge professionally, but living in New York is an adventure my wife and I are truly excited about.”

Upon his graduation from Northern Illinois University in 2000, Kevin immediately went to work for the San Jose Mercury News as a designer and was promoted to news design director a year later. In 2005, he was named assistant business editor and, later still, was named AME for the sports, copy and design desks.

In 2008, he moved to Alabama to become editor of the Huntsville Times. When Advance consolidated its operations and trimmed publication days last fall, Kevin was named to his current position, in which he oversees Advance operations in Alabama and Mississippi: The Times as well as the Birmingham News, the Mobile Press-Register and the Mississippi Press.

His wife, Ashley Dinges — also a former a news designer at the San Jose Mercury News — is currently executive director for the performing arts center in Huntsville.

Other notable visual leaders who have departed print for digital and who now work for Advance Digital in New York include former Indianapolis Star AME Scott Goldman and Shawn Weston, former presentation editor for the Newark, N.J., Star-Ledger.

A little TOO close

I understand the concept of finding a page and then re-using the idea. I really do. I think nearly all of us have done that at some point.

But when you use someone else’s idea, please try to vary it just a bit more than this:


On the left is the Huntsville Times from April 8, 2010, designed by the design director at the time, Paul Wallen.

On the right is Monday’s Gaston Gazette of Gastonia, N.C.

No, I didn’t contact my friends in Gastonia for comment. I just didn’t have the heart to. But I can’t let this pass without pointing it out.

Find good, clever pages. Use them for inspiration. Take an idea and put your own spin on it. Localize it. Customize it. Make it look and feel like your work and your paper.

But don’t just flat-out rip off an idea for a design.

Here’s the litmus test: If you’re going to be embarrassed to find it here in the blog, then don’t do it.

Thanks for reading.

One page-one centerpiece. One headline and deck. Four errors.

An anonymous reader from Alabama sends along a snapshot of the front of Wednesday’s Huntsville Times.


She writes:

Thought you might be interested in the Times‘ most recent front page.

The centerpiece subhed is full of errors. I’m guessing it should be present tense, include a word like “members” somewhere and should say “to be destroyed.”


Not to mention if you read the first few lines of the story, it says the group met Monday night, not Tuesday.


So that’s one centerpiece story with a headline and lead-in decks. But four errors. In page-one display copy.

This is the second time in four days we found a huge mistake in papers slashed over the past year by Advance Publications. You’ll recall this headline from the Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News from this past Sunday.


Hey, I know the folks in Huntsville. (And in the Advance production hub in Birmingham. And the folks in Harrisburg, too.) I know them all to be hardworking folks, devoted to quality journalism.

But it’s difficult for me to see rookie mistakes like this — after the cuts and trims this company has made to its print products — and remain convinced Advance is dedicated to putting out quality papers. Even if only three days a week.

This makes me sad. I’m sure it makes you sad, too.

Thanks to my tipster…

You know who else needs a copy editor?

Local TV news operations. Chicago’s WMAQ-TV in particular. And WLS-TV, also of Chicago. And Harrisburg’s Fox43 TV news. And WDAY-TV 6 News in Fargo, N.D. And Local 15 News in Mobile, Ala. And WMAR-TV in Baltimore. And WBAL-TV in Baltimore. And Fox 4 KDFW in Dallas. And KTLA channel 5 in Los Angeles. And KNBC channel 4 in Los Angeles. And KCBS channel 2 in Los Angeles. And KSDK in St. Louis. And Charlotte’s WBTV. And KXAN-TV of Austin. And WFSB channel 3 in Hartford, Conn. And KOKI-TV, Fox23 in Tulsa. And Fox23 of Tulsa again. And Huntsville’s WAFF-TV. And WSPA-TV 7 in Spartanburg, S.C. And Miami’s WSVN channel 7. And KUSA 9 News in Denver, Colo. And 7News, also in Denver. And KSL channel 5 in Salt Lake City. And KCRG of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And WXYZ-TV in Detroit. And KGMI News Talk radio in Bellingham, Wash. And local Fox affiliates. And other local TV news operations. And CBS local media. And CBS/DC in Washington. And the web operation for DC101 radio. And the Huffington Post. And the Huffington Post again. And CNN (and CNN again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and a huge one here)(and yet again)(and yet again) and CNN Money and CNN mobile and Fox News (and Fox News again)(and Fox News yet again)(and again!)(and again!)(and yet again!)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and again, for cryin’ out loud)(and yet again)(and again) and Fox Business and MSNBC (and MSNBC again) (and MSNBC again) (and MSNBC yet again)(and MSNBC yet again) and ABC News and NBC news and NBC News again and NBC News yet again and the Weather Channel (and the Weather Channel again)(and the Weather Channel again)(and the Weather Channel yet again) and the BBC and the BBC again and German news channel N24. And the Canadian Broadcast Corp. (and the CBC again). And Fairfax media of New Zealand. And Dagsrevyen, the evening news broadcast of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corp. And al Jazeera. And Martha Stewart’s TV operation. And the Disney Channel. And AOL. And AOL’s Patch. And Patch again. And Advance’s MLive media group. And creators of mobile apps. And Yahoo News. And Yahoo News again. And Yahoo News again. And the fictional TMI! web site on the Newsroom TV show. And Google News’ bots. And baseball jersey manufacturers. And football jersey manufacturers. And sports ticket counterfeiters. And the NCAA. And the Big 12 Conference. And Georgetown University. And Kansas State University. And the University of Iowa. And the University of North Carolina. And the University of Texas. And Nebraska Wesleyan University. And Appalachian State University. And high school diploma printers. And the New York Jets, the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota Twins the St. Louis Cardinals, the Seattle Mariners, the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals (boy, do they need a copy editor). And the Brooklyn Nets. And Manchester United. And the National Hockey League (and the NHL again). And the NHL Network. And NBA Premium TV. And ESPN (and ESPN again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and three more times!)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and again) and Fox Sports (and Fox Sports again)(and Fox Sports one more time)(and Fox Sports yet again)(and yet again)(and yet again). And NBC Sports. And NBC Sports again. And CBS Sportsline. And TBS Sports. And CNN.SI. And Sports Illustrated (and again) (and again). And college athletic department ticket offices. And the NCAA. And Leaf trading card company. And the Virginia general assembly. And college alumni magazines. And pharmacies. And the makers of Sudafed. And Borders bookstore. And the U.S. Postal Service. And government agencies and political candidates. And Tea Party candidates. And the Newt Gingrich campaign. And the Mitt Romney campaign. And the Mitt Romney campaign again. And the White House. And the Vice President. And the President himself. And city and county Boards of Elections. And Congressmen from South Carolina. Both the state of Pennsylvania and its department of transportation. And Costa Cruises. And Pittsburgh skywriters. And road paving contractors in Durham, N.C. and in New York City. And the city of Norfolk, Va. And the Ohio Dept. of Transportation. And the Alabama Dept. of Transportation. And the Maryland Dept. of Transportation. And the West Palm Beach, Fla., police dept. And Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, Fla. And Sunrise-McMillan Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas. And Canadian school districts. And planners for Charlotte, N.C.’s Festival in the Park. And the Moose lodge in Carroll, Iowa. And South African traffic cops. And the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico. And gas stations. And billboard companies. And bumper sticker manufacturers. And sign painters. And Home Depot and manufacturers of “hoodies.“ And T-shirt designers. And more T-shirt designers. And Old Navy. And Old Navy again. And Kohl’s. And Lids. And Adidas. And Mazda. And rubber stamp designers. And glass etchers. And stone carvers. And hotels. And more hotels. And manufacturers of custom-printed hotel accessories. And Starbucks. And Wendy’s. And Applebee‘s. And DaVanni’s Pizza. And restaurants, breakfast joints, Chinese restaurants and cake decorators. And more cake decorators. And drive-in movie theater managers. And auto dealers. And auto body shops. And romance novelists. And Capcom, the makers of Resident Evil video games. And 2K Sports, the makers of NBA 2K13 video games. And the Ku Klux Klan. And American Idol. And book cover designers. And editorial cartoonists. And business page editors. And South Africa’s New Age and Sunday Independent newspapers. And City Press of Johannesburg. And Dublin’s Sunday Business Post. And the Echo of Gloucestershire, England. And the London Daily Mail. And the National Post of Toronto, Canada. And the Winnipeg Sun. And the South China Morning Post. And the Herald Sun of Melbourne, Australia. And the Air Force Times. And the Washington Post (Hey! Another repeat offender!), the Post’s Express tab (Hey! Yet another repeat offender!), the Washington Examiner, Boston’s Metro, the New York Times (Wow! Yet another repeat offender!)(Hey! A third offense!)(Hey! A fourth offense!), A.M. New York, the Los Angeles Times (and the LAT again), the New York Post, the New York Post again, the New York Post yet again, Wall Street Journal Europe, Newsday, USA Today, (and USA Today again), (and USA Today again)(and USA Today again), the Boston Globe, the Chicago Sun-Times (and yet another!), the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill., the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat & Chronicle, the Daily Mail of London, the Echo of Liverpool, England, the Seattle Times, the weekly Manila Mail of San Francisco, the Miami Herald (and again!), the Portland Oregonian, the Durham, N.C., Herald-Sun, the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. (and the News & Observer again!)(and again!)(and again!)(and yet again!), the Chapel Hill, N.C., News, the Times-News of Hendersonville, N.C., the Greensboro, N.C., News & Record, Advance Publications’ Birmingham design hub, the Tampa Bay Times, the Missoula, Mont., Missoulian, the Duluth, Minn., News Tribune, the Free Press of Mankato, Minn., the Springfield (Mass.) Republican, the Reformer of Brattleboro, Vt., the Bangor (Maine) Daily News, the Advocate of Stamford, Conn., the Hartford (Conn.) Courant, the Times-Record of Denton, Md., the News-Herald of Willoughby, Ohio, the Reporter of Lansdale, Pa., the Times-News of Erie, Pa., the Tribune-Review of Pittsburgh, Pa., the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., the Wilmington, Del., News Journal, the Dispatch of Casa Grande, Ariz., the Amarillo (Texas) Globe News, the Laredo Morning Times, the El Paso Times, the Daily Telegram of Temple, Texas, the Independent of Rayne, La., the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Cleveland Heights Sun Press, the Daily Times of Weirton, W.Va., the Waynesboro News Virginian, the Virginian-Pilot (and the Virginian-Pilot again) (and the Virginian-Pilot yet again), the Des Moines (Iowa) Register (and the Des Moines Register again), the Coon Rapids (Iowa) Enterprise, the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Gannett’s N.Y. Central Media hub, the Greenville (S.C.) News, the Gazette Journal of Reno, Nev., the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah, the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake Tribune, the Fort Collins Coloradoan, the Denver Post, the Olympian of Olympia, Wash., the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, the Bakersfield Californian, the Pine Cone, of Carmel, Calif., the Carbondale, Ill., Southern Illinoisian, the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger (Hey! Yet another repeat offender!) and the Canarsie Courier of New York City. And Politico. And the Associated Press. And the Associated Press again. And the Associated Press again. And the Associated Press again. And the Associated Press yet again. And the Associated Press yet again. And the Associated Press yet again. And yet again. And Mann’s Jeweler’s Accent magazine. And New Scientist magazine. And Investment News magazine. And Time magazine (and Time magazine again). And Editor & Publisher.

And, of course, I need a copy editor myself.

I’ve always needed a copy editor. Which is why you’ll see me fight so hard for them.

A look at the Advance Alabama papers’ BCS title game special edition

After the wait of more than a month, the BCS college football championship game itself was quite a letdown. Notre Dame gave Alabama hardly any competition at all last night. As a result, the Crimson Tide cruised to its third national title in four years.

Although today’s a Tuesday, the Advance papers in Alabama published a special edition to commemorate the victory. Here’s the version that was distributed in Birmingham.


The front pages in Huntsville and Mobile varied only in the strip across the top and the front-page sponsor.

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The front page picture of Alabama defendere C.J. Mosley — who, with five tackles, was named defensive player of the game — is by staffer Vasha Hunt.

Jennifer Conklin, director of publications for the Alabama Media Group — who sent us today’s section — tells us:

Because everything we do at the PubHub is a collaboration, the list of participants is long. We work really hard to foster an environment where everyone participates and has a voice. For all of those named below there were countless others weighing in with opinions and strengthening copy and design along the way.

Jason Whaley took the lead on our cover and inside poster page. Kent Kasey worked on the Twitter feed page and several of the others inside. He also coordinated all of the moving parts and set up page toppers. Presentation manager Kimberly Worner did the two photo pages. Ike Morgan and John Reimer also took on a page or two. Statewide publications manager Scott Walker designed the bowl wrap-up page and curated some content.

Curator Charles Hollis and statewide curation manager Tom Arenberg led the effort in working with reporters to develop stories and coordinate coverage.

And Greg Richter and Jim Carson kept the great headlines coming all night and kept the copy moving.

Let’s take a look at the inside of the section. Click any of these for a much larger view.

Page two (below, left) was a fun page, if only because of the tweets. Half the page was devoted to some of the buzz during the game last night. I don’t know how you felt, but the Twitter feed was the most interesting part of the game.

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Here’s a quick sample.


On page three (above, right) focuses on Alabama’s first-ever victory over Notre Dame. The photo is by Vasha Hunt.

Also, notice the interesting trivia embedded in the page headers. The one here on page three notes that Notre Dame gave up only nine offensive touchdowns all year, but then allowed four in the first half last night.

Page four contained a story about Alabama’s offensive line, an expanded box score and a couple of sidebars.


In particular, I love the visual focus on Alabama’s center, Barrett Jones. The pictures were by Vasha Hunt.

Page six held a number of notebook items as well as a screencap of quarterback A.J. McCarron‘s girlfriend Katherine Webb. She received quite a bit of prominent on-camera time last night.


Pages five and seven were full-page ads.

Here’s the center spread, featuring a picture by C.W. Griffin of the Miami Herald.


Page 10 (below, left) focused on Notre Dame. Both pictures were from McClatchy Tribune.

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Page 11 (above, right) consisted of a review of last night’s broadcast.

Page 12 (below, left) is a color picture page. Most of the pictures — including the large one in the center — are from McClatchy Tribune. Staffer Julie Bennett shot the photos at the bottom.

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Page 13 (above, right) lists key moments of the game, illustrated with photos by Julie and Vasha.

Page 14 (below, left) shows the celebration back in Tuscaloosa, as shot by staffer Ben Flanigan.

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Page 15 reviews all of this year’s bowl season, presented in a large grid. Down the left side of the page is by-the-numbers material.

Find all the Alabama Media Group’s BCS game coverage here.

Average circulation for the Birmingham News is 103,729. Circulation for the Huntsville Times is 44,725 while the Mobile Press-Register circulates 82,088 papers on the days it publishes.

Meanwhile, around the rest of the state, a picture of coach Nick Saban holding up the crystal football trophy seemed to be the way to put together a front page today.

130108BcsTuscaloosaAla 130108BcsFortPayneAla

Left: Tuscaloosa News

Circulation: 28,130

Photo: “Photoillustration” by staffers Michelle Lepianka Carter and Anthony Bratina

Right: Fort Payne Times-Journal

Circulation: 5,518

Photo: Romeo Guzman, Associated Press

130108BcsAnnistonAla  130108BcsGadsdenAla  130108BcsMontgomeryAla

Left: Anniston Star

Circulaton: 19,563

Photo: Stephen Gross, staff

Center: Gadsden Times

Circulation: 15,279

Photo: Dave Hyatt, staff

Right: Montgomery Advertiser

Circulation: 32,847

Photo: Mickey Welsh, staff

130108BcsDothanAla  130108BcsFlorenceAla  130108BcsSelmaAla

Left: Dothan Eagle

Circulaton: 28,383

Photo: Jay Hare, staff

Center: Florence Times Daily

Circulation: 23,905

Photo: Gary Cosby Jr., staff

Right: Selma Times-Journal

Circulation: 4,280

Photo: Kenty Gidley, University of Alabama

These last eight front pages are all from the Newseum. Of course.

A look at today’s best Christmas front pages

There was an awful lot of great work out there today. Really, too much to try to take note of.

However, let’s give it a try anyway, shall we?

Take special note of my picks of the ten best pages of the day, mixed into the categories below in no particular order…




Denver, Colo.

Circulation: 401,120

The Denver Post today built page one around this beautiful picture of the moon smiling down upon what appears to be a lit Christmas Tree in the open mountains of Colorado.


The picture is by staffer Helen H. Richardson.


Santa Ana, Calif.

Circulation: 280,812

Not only is this poster-front of a surfin’ Santa and his reindeer fun and gorgeous, there’s also a fun story behind the picture by staffer Leonard Ortiz.


Staffer Karen Kelso explains in a “how we did it” story in today’s Orange County Register:

We moved everyone toward the water. Tundra [a two-year-old reindeer] followed easily because we discovered he would do just about anything for a graham cracker. Everything was fine until we stepped off the warm beach on to the cold, wet sand. Tundra started to buck and throw his rack around. [Animal rental guy Tim]Connaghan never lost his cool and tried to hold on to the reins. Tundra decided to make a break for it and only calmed down when more graham crackers were dispersed.

Photographing a live animal was going to be a real challenge, especially with the crowd that was forming and Tundra showing his displeasure.

Ortiz photographed Tundra and Santa as they walked, ran and bucked their way down the beach. Tundra demanded more graham crackers at several points during the shoot.

Surfers came out of the water into our shot because they wanted to touch Tundra. Reindeer do not like to be touched, and touching their antlers is a sign of aggression.

The trouble was worth it. What a great picture.

A number of other papers built their front pages around huge, poster-sized photos presumably shot by staffers. Neither of these examples were accompanied by photo credits, sadly. (UPDATE – 10:30 p.m. The Wichita photo was shot by staffer Travis Heying.)

1212125XmasWichitaKan 1212125XmasElyriaOhio

On the left: the Wichita, Kan., Eagle, circulation 67,250. On the right: The Chronicle of Elyria, Ohio, circulation 25,892.

These two papers built  holiday-themed montages with locally-shot pictures.

1212125XmasLansingMich   1212125XmasSalemOre

On the left: The State Journal of Lansing, Mich., circulation 41,330. On the right: The Statesman Journal of Salem, Ore., circulation 36,946, attempted to use pictures to illustrate commonly-known Christmas songs.

In particular, I think the page topper on the right, here — by the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, Mass., circulation 74,563 — is particularly attractive.

1212125XmasTauntonMass  1212125XmasWorcesterMass

On the left: The Daily Gazette of Taunton, Mass., circulation 6,703.




Columbia, S.C.

Circulation: 70,980

Naturally, if you’re going to give readers a huge Christmas card on page one, some readers might prefer to see one with a religious angle. Tim Dominick of the State of Columbia, S.C., built this lovely photoillustration for today’s centerpiece.


The Dispatch of Brainerd, Minn. — below left; circulation 11,307 — shot a local manger reenactment. The photoillustration is credited to staffers Kelly Humphrey and Jan Finger.

1212125XmasBrainerdMinn  1212125XmasHutchinsonKan  1212125XmasBurlingtonIowa

The Hutchinson (Kansas) News ran a classic piece by Raphael — the painter, not the ninja turtle — supplied by a local church. The Hawk Eye of Burlington, Iowa, used art from a German Christmas card published in 1912.

Average daily circulation for the Hutchinson News is 25,722. The Hawk Eye circulates 15,943 papers daily.

And stained-glass windows depicting the birth of Christ are a very popular page-one topic for Christmas Day.

1212125XmasTopekaKan 1212125XmasCantonOhio 1212125XmasLiberalKan

The Capital-Journal of Topeka, circulation 40,435, and the Repository of Canton, Ohio, circulation 56,789, had staffers shoot windows in local churches. The Leader and Times of Liberal, Kansas, circulation 3,700, ran a huge staff picture taken in a church in England.




Cleveland, Ohio

Circulation: 246,571

There are few better things to run on a Christmas Day poster-page treatment, I think, than a staff illustration. Check out this gorgeous piece in today’s Plain Dealer by Andrea Levy.



Williamsport, Pa.

Circulation: 22,795

Likewise, here’s a beautiful painting of a snow-covered Pennsylvania church by who I presume is an artist in the Williamsport area: Mickey Mapstone.


Gorgeous stuff.

The Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee runs an annual contest for art to feature on page one on Christmas Day. This year’s winner: Dottie Morelle Godden. Average daily circulation of the Journal Sentinel is 185,710.

1212125XmasMilwaukeeWis 121225XmasPittsburghPG

The Post-Gazette of Pittsburgh — circulation 188,545 — led the top of page one today with a painting from a local gallery by artist Charles “Bud” Gibbons.

And these two Pennsylvania newspapers elected to go with (what I presume are) staff-generated illustrations to evoke days of Christmast past.

1212125XmasScrantonPa 1212125XmasHazletonPa

On the left: The Times-Tribune of Scranton, circulation 47,663. The art is by Bob Sanchuk. On the right: The Standard-Speaker of Hazleton, circulation 20,008. The art isn’t credited.




Newport News, Va.

Circulation: 57,642

I was especially delighted this morning with this lovely page-one “package” from the Daily Press of Newport News, Va.


That’s an old gimmick — I’ve used it a time or two myself — but the Daily Press pulls it off particularly well here. Note the clever promos to stuff inside.

I presume this is stock art of some sort afront the Standard of Aiken, S.C. (left, circulation 15,711). Even so, it’s well-used here.

1212125XmasAikenSC   1212125XmasAnnistonAla

The Star of Anniston, Ala. — circulation 19,563 — elected to create its own Santa Claus image for today’s front-page poster treatment. That was shot by staffer Stephen Gross.



A number of papers took the time today to write truly great front-page stories for Christmas Day — perhaps the one day of the year when hardly anyone will take the time to read them.

Some of these were beautifully done.


Huntsville, Ala.

Circulation: 44,725

The Huntsville Times today published favorite Christmas memories of days gone by.


While the presentation itself is a little text-heavy, I’d argue: It should be. In this case, it’s all about the story. At least a clear presentation and liberal use of white space keep all those grey legs of type from overpowering the reader.

The one minus to this page that I’ve found: In my search to find a link to the story — and I was forced to search an awful long time for it — I found that the story here was published two weeks ago.

Not to beat a dead horse on Christmas Day, but: I really don’t understand Advance Publications’ thinking. Digital first is one thing. But running a two-week old story as the page one-centerpiece? That baffles me.

Whatever, though. Ho, ho, ho and all…


Casper, Wyo.

Circulation: 24,891

In Casper, Wyo., the Star Tribune ran a wonderful story today about the little vacation that all Santa’s local helpers can take now that the season is over.


The wonderful portrait is by staffer Alan Rogers. The page was designed by Will Gay, I’m told.

Find the story here by staffer Jeremy Fugleberg.

The Asbury Park Press also had local folks share Christmas memories (below, left). The Mail Tribune of Medford, Ore., asked readers to list their favorite things, kind of like that song from the Sound of Music.

1212125XmasAsburyParkNJ   1212125XmasMedfordOre

Average daily circulation for the Asbury Park paper is 98,032. Medford circulates 22,292 papers daily.

The York, Pa., Daily Record cited a number of interesting local Christmas facts, all presented on a tree illustrated by staffer Samantha Dellinger.

121225XmasYorkPa  1212125XmasVictoriaTexas

The Victoria Advocate ran a story today focusing on a woman raising five grandchildren who lost her home to fire in September and how the community reached out to help. The pictures are by staffer Frank Tilley.

Average daily circulation for the York Daily Record is 57,738; for the Victoria Advocate is 26,531.

Iowa City built its front around a fiction tale about Christmas, offered in print (and illustrated by the Des Moines Register‘s Mark Marturello) and online in both standard HTML format and in digital storybook form.

1212125XmasIowaCity  1212125XmasNampaIdaho

The Press-Tribune of Nampa, Idaho, wrote about a local Christmas-themed blood drive. The ribbon-decorated bag of blood was shot by staffer Aaric Bryan.

Average daily circulation in Iowa City is 12,130. Nampa circulates 19,900 papers daily.

And two papers chose to fill their fronts with classic text evoking holiday spirits. The Hour of Norwalk, Conn. (left) chose the lyrics to Silent Night while the Missourian of Columbia, Mo., went with the classic “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” letter and reply from the New York Sun, 115 years ago.

1212125XmasNorwalkConn  1212125XmasColumbiaMo

Average daily circulation for the Hour is 14,971. The Missourian circulates 21,722 papers daily.



My favorite work of the day, however, was the series of snow globe illustrations, custom-built in Gannett’s Des Moines Design Studio for a number of the company’s Wisconsin papers.

In each globe, the imagery depicts something important to that town.


Check these out. Here’s the Daily Herald of Wausau (circulation 15,506)…


…the Press-Gazette of Green Bay (circulation 41,767)…

1212125XmasGreenBayWis 1212125XmasAppletonWis

The Press of Sheboygan (circulation 14,246)…


…and the Northwestern of Oshkosh (circulation 14,113).


The studio also built a Christmas tree ornament treatment for a few of the chain’s smaller papers.

1212125XmasMarshfieldWis 1212125XmasManitowocWis 1212125XmasStevensPointWis

From left: The News-Herald of Marshfield (circulation 8,139), the Herald Times Reporter of Manitowoc (circulation 10,253) and the Journal of Stevens Point (circulation 7,845).

Wisconsin design team leader Sean McKeown-Young took a moment from his Christmas celebration to tell us:

Yes, I did all of the illustration. Basically one snowglobe design which was concocted of several images and them each site got a different treatment inside. Same goes for the ornaments.

Check out his Thanksgiving Day illustrations here.




White Plains, N.Y.

Circulation: 72,764

And from the northern suburbs of New York comes this reminder of the horror of the past few weeks and what’s really important on Christmas: Our children.


That’s a beautiful memorial to the victims of the Newtown, Conn., shootings.

Great work by the folks in Gannett’s Asbury Park Design Studio.

If someone there can tell me who designed this page, I’d love to dole out a little credit here.

UPDATE – 10:30 p.m.

Tim Frank, director of the Asbury Park Studio tells us:

That was the work of team leader Joanne Sosangelis.

Have a great Christmas, everybody!

These pages are from the Newseum. Of course.

A buffet line of infographics on today’s front pages

Today is a day in which the day’s most notable front pages seemed to be ones featuring various types of infographics.




Dallas, Texas

Circulation: 405,349

The story today in Dallas: Home prices are rebounding. A bit. Finally.

The centerpiece chart on page one today graphs composite home prices over the past decade in Dallas (blue) and for 20 cities around the U.S. (red).

Here’s how the chart was used on today’s front page.




Birmingham, Ala.

Circulation: 103,729

Auburn University fired its football coach this week, after a disastrous 3-9 season. This is just two years after Gene Chizik led the Tigers to an undefeated season and a national title.

Temporary Advance Publications hub design director Tim Ball built this bar chart for today’s front pages showing the victory or loss margins for every game over the four years of the Chizik era.

Note that the 45-7 loss to Georgia last year was Auburn’s worst loss in 15 years. But then Auburn went on to lose three more by similar or a greater margin this year. No wonder Auburn gave up on Chizik.

Here’s how the Birmingham paper used Tim’s chart on page one today.

With no pesky A1 ad to get in the way, the 44,725-circulation Huntsville Times could run the picture of Chizik a little taller…


…while the Press-Register of Mobile — circulation 82,088 — had local news to deal with, so Tim’s graphic was stripped of its breakout boxes and squeezed into two columns.




Detroit, Mich.

Circulation: 113,508

The folks in Detroit had a sports story of their own on page one today: Controversial defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, who is constantly getting into scrapes on and off the field. After yet another prominent incident in a nationally-televised Thanksgiving Day game, the NFL has decided not to discipline Suh this time around.

The Detroit News responded with this timeline showing Suh’s “troubled times” over the past three seasons.

Click that for a readable version.

The News chose to run that across the top of page one today, referring from that into more coverage in the sports section.




Victoria, Texas

Circulation: 26,531

We head back to Texas for this look at the expenses involved with a local festival called Bootfest. The Advocate‘s Robert Zavala created this centerpiece diagram that cited what the festival cost and what kind of revenue it brought in.

Robert organized his material well in order to make clear the issues: This thing cost more than it made and the city will have to pay the difference. The only part that isn’t quite as successful is the “cost” pie chart, where it’s a bit difficult to visually compare three or four of the six slices.

It’s not a major problem, however, because mentally arranging those slices in order isn’t necessary to understanding the story.

Here’s how the Advocate played Robert’s flow chart-plus-pie charts on page one today.

The boot itself was stock art.




The biggest story in the country today, however, is the amazing windfall that potentially awaits some lucky Powerball winner at tonight’s drawing. A number of papers had fun comparing the odds of winning to everyday things like being struck by lightning or being crushed to death by a vending machine.

No papers told this story better — or in a more whimsical way — than did a handful of papers designed by the folks at the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines. Check out this illustration by Wisconsin team leader Sean McKeown-Young.

A fun read and beautifully drawn. That served as centerpiece art today in several of Gannett’s Wisconsin papers, including the Appleton Post-Crescent (circulation 38,244) and the Fond du Lac Reporter (circulation 10,186)…


…as well as the Stevens Point Journal (circulation 7,845), the Sheboygan Press (circulation 14,246) and the Marshfield News-Herald (circulation 8,139).


Studio creative director Nathan Groepper tells us:

You can see how we tweaked [Sean’s illustration] for regional differences.

The Packers logo has been replaced by the Vikings logo in the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, S.D. (circulation 32,192)…


…and the University of Iowa Hawkeyes logo in the Iowa City Press-Citizen (circulation 12,130).

While I love Sean’s work there, I also must give major props to the approach taken today atop page one of the Green Bay, Wis., Press-Gazette. The illustration here is of simple silhouette figures. The magic is in what a few of them are doing.

The line you saw earlier about the chances of the Packers in the Super Bowl being 1 in 7.5 is illustrated by a fan holding a Lombardi trophy.

This unlucky fellow is dying from a bee sting.

And the odds of being struck by a San Diego Chargers logo bolt of lightning is one in a million.

All of these compare to the one-in-175 million chance you have of winning the grand Powerball prize tonight.

Nathan tells me:

The graphic on the cover was designed by Green Bay graphic artist/cartoonist Joe Heller.

That’s not an infographic. But then again, this story didn’t need an infographic. What Joe came up with worked perfectly.

Average daily circulation for the Press-Gazette is 41,767.

Thanks to Nathan Groepper for sending us the Gannett pages. The rest are from the Newseum. Of course.

How Advance’s Alabama papers are advancing this year’s Iron Bowl

It’s a huge football weekend. Lots of rivalry games, but hardly any greater than the famous Iron Bowl: Alabama vs. Auburn.

Hence, this special section cover that runs in today’s Alabama-based Advance Publications newspapers in Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile.

Click this for a much larger look.

The cover illustration is by Nick Iluzada, a New-York based illustrator and 2011 graduate of the University of Maryland. He’s also sold work to the the Wall Street Journal, Adweek, the Atlantic and the New York Times. Find Nick’s web site here.

Tim Ball — who’s been running the Birmingham design hub until the new director gets up to speed — tells us he designed most of the section:

I did most of it. Amanda Reiter, who was here for five weeks helping us out, designed one inside page and I did the rest.

And yeah, it runs Friday in all three papers.

The game itself will be played Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. It’ll be televised by CBS.

Average daily circulation for the Birmingham News is 103,729. The Huntsville Times circulates 44,725 daily while average daily circulation for the Mobile Press-Register is 82,088.

Previous Iron Bowl game coverage here in the blog…

  • Nov. 26, 2010: Behind Huntsville’s Iron Bowl football game preview cover
  • Nov. 27, 2010: More Iron Bowl football game coverage by the Huntsville Times
  • Nov. 24, 2011: Guaranteed to go viral today: Dogs in cute little football outfits
  • Nov. 25, 2011: On the front of Huntsville’s Iron Bowl special section: A ‘flippable’ cover

And find more rivalry week pages here:

Newseum will NOT stop taking front pages from Advance Publications

Scott Walker — managing editor of the Birmingham News — tells us via a comment on an earlier blog post:

Expect to see fewer pages on the Newseum‘s website.

The Newseum will no longer be displaying front pages from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans and Alabama’s largest papers, The Birmingham News and Press-Register.


Yesterday’s front pages from — left to right — New Orleans,

Birmingham and Huntsville. Mobile was a no-show in

Wednesday’s Newseum archive. If the Pascagoula paper

was there, I didn’t spot it.

Also excluded: The Huntsville Times and the Mississippi Press. (The Harrisburg Patriot-News and Syracuse Post-Standard are next.)

They’re still in print 3-4 days a week, but this is the Newseum‘s stance:

From: Frank Mitchell

Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2012 9:52 AM

I am sorry to inform you that because your papers are no longer going to be daily publications, we will have to remove them from our website.

I checked in with my own contact at the Newseum, senior vice president Paul Sparrow. Who replied:

This is an issue that is currently under discussion here. Our policy in the past has been that we only post daily front pages. Until now that has meant we don’t post weeklies. But with so many papers falling into this new category of not daily/not weekly we’re working on a new policy. I will get back to you asap with a final decision.

Minutes later, Paul called me on my cell phone — as I stood in middle of Walmart — and told me the Newseum will, in fact, accept front pages from these three-days-a-week Advance publications. “We can’t ignore papers like the Times-Picayune,” Paul said.

In fact, Paul said, the decision had already been made to accept these Advance publications. But the word just hadn’t yet trickled through all the staffers at the Newseum. That’s now been fixed, Paul assured me. And the Newseum‘s frequently asked questions page has been updated:

Q. Can dailies that reduced their print editions to a few days a week still send in their front pages?

A. Yes. Though several newspapers have moved the bulk of their news coverage online, they can continue to be part of the online exhibit as long as they publish print editions more than once a week.

So if you work for the Times-Picayune or in the Alabama production hub — or, come January, for the Advance papers in Harrisburg, Pa., or Syracuse, N.Y. — please continue to send your pages to the Newseum.

And if anyone tells you differently, please point them to this post. Or contact me right away and I’ll relay the message to Paul.

(The second takeaway from this: If you ever want news for your visual journalism blog, head over to Walmart. Works every time.)

A cute way to sneak in a ‘goodbye’

In addition to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the three Advance Publications papers in Alabama also end daily publication with today’s edition. Those papers are: the Birmingham News, the Mobile Press-Register and the Huntsville Times.

Somebody in Birmingham got cute with a folio line in today’s paper.

The next print edition of these Advance papers won’t come out until Wednesday.

Thanks to my anonymous tipster.

The top of today’s Birmingham News plugs an eight-page special section inside that explains all the changes Advance is making.

And tomorrow, the promo promises, readers will receive a 12-page guide on how to use the web site.

Check out the fine print below. Just for anyone who’s not been paying attention.

Huntsville Times editor Kevin Wendt — who is the new vice-president for content of the Alabama Media Group — has written weekly columns about the changes. Find his latest — and links to all the previous columns — here.

The front page image is from the Newseum. Of course.

The most interesting weekend front pages

Here’s a (slightly belated) roundup of the best and most interesting of the weekend’s front pages…




Fort Pierce, Fla.

Circulation: 29,261

That’s my favorite advice for when you have great art: Use it big and get the hell out of its way.

Even better when the art was shot locally. You saw that great picture of the owner of a pizza joint in Fort Pierce giving President Barack Obama a huge, off-the-ground bear hug. Here’s how the paper in Fort Pierce used that AP photo by Pablo Martinez.


The News Tribune‘s sister papers used near-identical fronts today.


On the left is the Press Journal of Vero Beach, circulation 83,969. On the right is the Stuart News, circulation 38,956.

All three were designed by Joe Mountain, I’m told.



Both Obama and Mitt Romney have been campaigning hard in New Hampshire — a big swing state this year. As you can see here, a couple of papers went with split-screen presentations Saturday…

…while the Telegraph of Nashua used a local staff photo — shot by staffer William Wrobel — but an overall politics-themed headline.

From left to right: The Monitor of Concord (circulation 20,000), the Union Leader of Manchester (circulation 44,665) and the Telegraph (circulation 16,653).

What gave me pause, however, was this headline atop Saturday’s Portsmouth Herald.

Yes, I’m sure there was a great turnout Friday to see the candidates and their wives. But “Fab Four“?

Should the editor have worked to find language just a little more neutral than that? Or does that not bother you?

It bothers me.

Here are two more papers that used Photoshop cutouts to create political centerpieces for Sunday fronts.

On the left: The Star News of Wilmington, N.C. (circulation 39,058). Notable is a wire graphic that shows the battleground states, including, of course, North Carolina. Also notable is the wrestling-themed headline.


On the right: The Asbury Park Press of Neptune, N.J. (circulation 98,032). I love the way the press cites “four keys to victory,” which puts a forward, analytical — yet, non-partisan — spin on the story.

We do this all the time on the sports pages. We ought to do it more often with political races.


Columbus, Ohio

Circulation: 136,023

The Columbus Dispatch did that very thing on Sundays’ front page with this smartly-written piece that cites specific reasons why neither candidate can possibly win in November.

Here’s a closer look at just the centerpiece. Click for a readable version.

The photoillustration is by staffer Charlie Zimkus.


Peoria, Ill.

Circulation: 63,024

Even more arresting is this use of public domain art by James Montgomery Flagg.

The designer played off the illustration with a textured background, bunting-like frame rules and a cartoon voice balloon that invokes the lettering in the original recruiting poster.

Note the way the designer pulled quotes from both Republicans and Democrats.


Dayton, Ohio

Circulation: 93,425

The folks at the new Cox Media Group graphics operation in Dayton, Ohio, constructed a map of Ohio and showing which candidate has the advantage in each region of the key state.

The graphic by Brennan King shows which party captured that region in the 2004 and 2008 elections. But, unfortunately, doesn’t show any polling data that might suggest how each might fall this year. Other than the basic coloring.

The same graphic — indeed, the same design — was also used by smaller Cox papers in the state.


On the left: The Middletown Journal (circulation 12,757). On the right: The Hamilton Journal News (circulation 14,729).


Madison, Wis.

Circulation: 83,083

The Wisconsin State Journal played similar data — in yes, another swing state this year — with this huge graphic package afront Sunday’s paper.

Nice extras: The U.S. map showing all this year’s swing states (note how N.C. leans to the GOP in this analysis), a horizontal bar chart across the top of the package showing the number of electoral votes each candidate might expect…

…and three separate maps showing county-by-county votes in each of the last three presidential elections.

Not reflected here, of course: The stunning election of a Republican governor two years ago. Again, perhaps it’s too early, but I’m looking forward to seeing polling data in these key states.

As much as I love this package, however, the best part was…

The headline: Brilliant.



Speaking of college football…


Columbia, Mo.

Circulation: 6,003

For home football weekends his fall, the Missourian is pushing most of the paper inside and playing up football coverage. Note the bug at the upper right of this page.

The lead photo by staffer Stuart Palley: Brilliant. The headline: Brilliant.

The treatment of the sidebar about Uga, the bulldog mascot of the University of Georgia: Brilliant.


Des Moines, Iowa

Circulation: 101,915

My old pal Jeremy Gustafson of the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines tells us:

We need to call him “Big Game” Rodney.

Register photographer Rodney White nailed another game-clinching photo in the Iowa State/Iowa game. Last year he was literally right in on the action when James White scored in triple overtime.

Which Jeremy played sideways.

Read more about that page here.

Jeremy continues:

This year, he captured the moment as Jake Knott waited for a tipped ball to fall into his hands.

So another big, last-minute win over in-state rival Iowa for the Iowa State Cyclones. Another great sports-front anchor photo by Rodney White.

Jeremy concludes:

Rodney continues to make my job easy.

Full disclosure: Jeremy is an Iowa State graduate.

Rodney also shot the picture that was played atop page one the next day:

While I love those two Sunday pages by the folks at the Des Moines Design Studio, I’m a little less enthusiastic about this Saturday page that same studio designed for the 12,130-circulation Press-Citizen of Iowa City.

Granted, it was an impossible assignment: How do you balance a) A huge state-rivalry game story and b) a visit by the president?

What I didn’t like was the huge, colorful play to the “gameday” portion of the page. This just didn’t work downpage. The “Hawkeye Gameday” banner appeared beneath the fold.

One possibility might have been to divide the page evenly along the fold. Put Obama on one side and the pregame stuff on the other. That way, newsrack distributors could flip the page whichever way they figured might sell more papers.

I’ll bet you the football game would sell better than Obama.



Check out this fabulous Sunday morning football loss headline from the paper in Bryan-College Station, Texas.

Texas A&M lost to the Florida Gators, 20-17. If you don’t “get” it, the headline is a reference to a phrase popularized by comedian Larry “the Cable Guy” Whitney, who says :”Get ‘er done.”

The Aggies didn’t “get ‘er done” against the Gators.

Here is the entire page of the 22,865-circulation Eagle.



There might not be many places in the country where NFL football merits poster treatment on page one. But Wisconsin is one of them. Even after a crushing 30-22 loss to the 49ers.

The folks at the aforementioned Des Moines Design Studio produced a number of front pages for Gannett’s Wisconsin papers, including these two.


The Northwestern of Oshkosh (circulation 14,113) used its picture larger. But I’d argue the type treatment — and interactivity with the nameplate — used by the 10,186-circulation Reporter of Fond du Lac provided more visual pop.

The photo was from the Associated Press. (And if someone in Des Moines could tell me who designed these fronts, I’d be much obliged.)


Appleton, Wis.

Circulation: 38,244

The visually-strongest Green Bay Packer poster front of the day, however, might possibly be this one on the front of the Appleton paper.

The photo is by Gannett’s Evan Siegle.

All four of these Wisconsin papers were designed by Sean Mckeown-Young of the design studio in Des Moines, I’m told.



You might have noticed that all three those last examples used type atop a photo. This can be a bad thing if the type is obtrusive. I don’t think those were. (My photographer friends out there may disagree.)

Also, note there is just a bit of Photoshop styling on that last example — especially at the bottom. That’s a bit more troubling. Because when you start down the path of Photoshopping live news — or sports — pictures, you may end up in a place like this:

I noticed this last year in the 13,799-circulation Niagara (N.Y.) Gazette and I may have even mentioned it a time or two. But, for the life of me, I don’t understand why a newspaper would cut out — and place onto a color background, complete with a dropshadow — a nice picture taken of the previous day’s game.

Not cool.



Do you remember Franco Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers and his unbelievable rebound catch against the Oakland Raiders that came to be called “the Immaculate Reception”?

Forty years ago this December. I kid you not.

Gee. Thanks a lot, Post-Gazette. I think.

Average daily circulation of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is 188,545.



Ideas to look at, file away and, perhaps, rework in a way that will fit the needs of your own paper some day.


Gastonia, N.C.

Circulation: 24, 354

The story Sunday in Gastonia, N.C.: Salaries of public servants.

The news: Twenty-nine of them make more than $100,000 a year. Which is a lot of money in the western suburbs of Charlotte.

One hint for my friends in Gastonia: The big, bold numbers are just a bit jammed. I’ll bet they’d have had just as much impact if you had taken each down maybe one or two points in size but left the leading the same.

Other than that: Brilliant idea. And wonderful presentation.


Fort Collins, Colo.

Circulation: 19,864

The story in Fort Collins: The number of folks who play fantasy football… on company time.

The illustration is essentially a “big numbers” text box, but the big numbers are applied to the backs of football jerseys.

Coloradoan editor Josh Awtry tells us this was…

…stock art that was customized for the illustration (with jersey numbers to match). Based on an idea by Eric Larsen, started by me, delegated by Colin Smith, and expertly realized by Wendy Goldfarb in Phoenix.

This sort of thing can get messy really quickly unless handled with a bit of restraint. Wendy applied just the right touch.


Panama City, Fla.

Circulation: 30,829

It’s becoming… I won’t say a cliché; rather, let’s call it standard practice.

Erin Forehand of the Panama City, Fla., News Herald tells us:

For the 75th anniversary of the News Herald, we redesigned the A and B sections to look like they might have in 1937.

Here is that front page.

Note the retro nameplate, the vertical column rules and the variety of headline styles, as well as the scarcity of white space. Yikes! How did we ever read this stuff.

This must have been a huge jolt for readers this morning. Here is the retro front compared to a front page from last summer.


The paper is celebrating its anniversary with a picture book of local photos from its archives. Find that here.


Norfolk, Va.

Circulation: 142,476

I’m not a huge fan of this particular design. But it is a good example of an illustration executed with nothing more than type.

This is the Pilot‘s annual summer serialized story. The topic this summer: The origins of NASA and the Mercury space program, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In its earliest days — before it moved to Houston — America’s manned space effort was headquartered at NASA’s Langley center, just across the water from Norfolk.

Day Two — today’s installment — focused on the slide-rule-using “nerds” who engineered the early spacecraft.

Not all of the 14-part series is posted online. Find videos and a few other components here.




Huntsville, Ala

Circulation: 44,725

Sometimes, we overthink our centerpieces.

Sometimes, we’re so desperate that we grab something from the archives, hold our nose and hope we don’t get yelled at the next day.

I can’t say for certain that’s what happened Saturday in Huntsville. But I’m here to tell you: This worked.

And it couldn’t have been simpler.

I hope someone got a nice pat on the back for that one.




Quincy, Mass.

Circulation: 38,537

The story in Quincy, Mass., Saturday was how city officials are fighting businessowners who want to put “adult businesses” in the area.

How do you illustrate a story like that? With a phrase like “bump and grind” in the headline. And a little bump and grind in you art selection.

That photo wasn’t credited, so I can’t tell you whether that’s stock or staff art.

Tell you what: I’ll spend some time this evening searching for it. I’ll let you know if I find it…



Those of you out there in newspaper land to whom I’ve been preaching lately about skyboxes? Listen up.

I found four skybox promos this weekend that show just how well a well-cropped photo can sell a story.

Here is high school football atop Saturday’s Stockton (Calif.) Record.

The picture of Tokay High School is by staffer Michael McCollum. Average daily circulation of the Record is 33,675.

The News-Press of St. Joseph illustrated how well the Atlanta Falcons dominated Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs using this picture by staffer Matt Reid.

Average daily circulation of the News-Press is 26,015.

Here’s another small paper making a huge, huge impact with a huge high school skybox picture.

That’s the Times-News of Twin Falls, Idaho, circulation 18,244.

Yeah, that’s about a third of the front page. But I’ll bet it sold a hell of a lot of papers Sunday. If nothing else, I’ll bet No. 20’s family bought a dozen copies.

And the smallest and most subtle of these examples is this one from the 14,267-circulation Tribune Eagle of Cheyenne, Wyo.

Did you see that game yesterday? Manning certainly was back. Cropping the picture so we can read the name on the back of his jersey was what made that work. Along with the contrast between the orange jersey and headline and the blue reverse box.

Here is what all four of these papers looked like.

Click any of them, of course, for a larger look.



No comment necessary.

That was from page B1 of Sunday’s Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, N.Y. Thanks to radio consultant Scott Fybush for the tip.

The retro Fort Walton Beach page, the Des Moines page and the dog neutering headline are from the respective newspapers. All the rest of these images are from the Newseum. Of course.

A look at today’s Neil Armstrong front pages

Most folks did pretty well on page one today. There were relatively few mistakes and flubs.

I’ve love to take credit for helping that happen — with my post yesterday afternoon — but, most likely, all the folks out there in newspaper design land have simply become more aware of the common pitfalls.

My hat is off to you all.


Melbourne, Fla.

Circulation: 63,087

Folks in Florida had a bit of a problem on page one today. Not only did Neil Armstrong — who spent a lot of time around Cape Canaveral — pass away, but also there is the Republican National Convention this week in Tampa. And then there is the little matter of a tropical storm just off the southern coast.

I was just a little disappointed this morning when I found one of the nation’s larger space-oriented newpapers — Florida Today — with not a darned thing about Armstrong on page one.

Wow. It couldn’t have been a deadline issue. I guess all the other news pushed Armstrong off the front or something. I shrugged and moved on.

Oh, ye of little faith. Turns out, Armstrong was pushed off the front. Into a gorgeous four-page special section that wrapped around today’s paper.

Michael Babin of Gannett’s Nashville Design Studio tells us:

With Isaac setting its sights on Southwest Florida, the death of Neil Armstrong and the uncertainty surrounding the GOP Convention, it was quite the day in the Nashville Design Studio.

Florida Today gave its Space Coast readers a special 4-page wrap celebrating the life of Neil Armstrong, while Fort Myers continued its strong coverage of Isaac, providing plenty of region-by-region updates, forecasts and storm preparedness tips for its readership.

Special thanks goes to designers Chris Bistline, Bill Campling, Melissa Koenigsberg, John Maynard, Michelle Irwin, Bill Wachsberger, Josh Ulrich, George Brooks, Stefanie Romba and Kayla Golliher — as well as the entire staffs in Brevard and Fort Myers — for pulling together so many moving pieces/parts in such an extraordinary way.

Here are the inside pages. Click these — or any page today — for a larger view.


The back page used one of the very few pictures taken by Buzz Aldrin of Armstrong on the moon on July 20, 1969. The design team turned the page sideways, ran the picture huge and got the hell out of its way.

And it surprises me how well this works. Because I didn’t think it’d look so good, with the lens flare and all. Which is why I told folks in my post yesterday to not fool with this picture.

Hey, I’m delighted to be wrong. And this is where we’ll start our romp through today’s front pages…


Neil Armstrong carried the primary camera that day. Buzz Aldrin also shot pictures, but he was assigned to photograph specific technical details, rather than tourist-like shots of Neil on the moon.

Being a technical-minded fellow — even before Apollo 11, Buzz held a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering — he did just what he was told. To the chagrin of historians and news designers everywhere ever since.

Despite my advice yesterday, a number of papers used this picture large yesterday. Perhaps you’ve heard of a few of them. Like the New York Times (circulation 1,586,757) and the Washington Post (circulation 507,615)…


…or the Cleveland Plain Dealer (circulation 246,571) and the Dallas Morning News (405,349).


I found four more papers using this picture on page one today:

From left to right: The Bakersfield Californian, the Portland Oregonian, the Asbury Park Press and the Daily Record of Parsippany, N.J.


Another picture I mentioned yesterday but also suggested you stay away from: A still frame from the 16mm movie reel that was shot by a camera rigged in the cockpit of the lunar lander. That reel contains footage of both astronauts on the lunar surface. But I didn’t think the fuzzy, washed-out images would play well on page one today.

Wrong again. As you can see, the News Tribune of Duluth, Minn. — circulation 30,606 — managed to use pictures from this film quite well today.

Newsday of Melville, N.Y. — circulation 397,973 — cropped in on just Armstrong for a nice front-page promo.

Four more papers used the picture as lead art on page one today: The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Ind., the Times of Trenton, N.J., the New Mexican of Santa Fe…


…and the News of Opelika, Ala. The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune and the Post-Dispatch of St. Louis used the picture as skybox art.


You’ll recall one of the pictures I recommended you use is this great shot of Neil Armstrong in the lunar lander, immediately after the historic moonwalk.

Luckily, the AP also moved that picture, meaning you didn’t have to go digging for it.

My favorite Neil Armstrong page of the day, in fact, used this picture.

That’s a wonderful job by the Forum of Fargo, N.D. — a paper that works its way into my blog more and more these days. Average daily circulation for the Forum is 45,298.

Other nice displays of this picture were by the Herald of Everett, Wash. (circulation 46,481), the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk (circulation 142,476)…


…the News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash. (circulation 78,453) and the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash. (circulation 69,161).


The 401,120-circulation Denver Post wins my admiration for the most unusual headline of the day.

Other papers using this picture on page one today:


Another picture I didn’t recommend yesterday was Armstrong’s pre-Apollo 11 official NASA portrait. Mostly because this is probably one of the most common images of Armstrong your readers have seen over the years. My feeling was: Given the depth of the NASA archives, we can do much better than this.

However, a few newspapers chose to lead their front page with this picture anyway. And doggoned if the results weren’t bad at all.

Here are a couple of big-city tabloids: The Daily News of New York — circulation 579,636 — and the Chicago Sun-Times, circulation 422,335.


A couple of broadsheets: the Dispatch of Casa Grande, Ariz., circulation 8,458, and the Record-Courier of Ravenna, Ohio, circulation 17,328.


Other papers using the portrait: Sister papers in Moline and Rock Island, Ill., the Gazette of Texarkana, Texas…

…the Caller-Times of Corpus Christi, Texas, the Press-Citizen of Iowa City, the Press of Johnson City, Tenn., and the Standard of Aiken. S.C.


One of the things I had specifically suggested you stay away from last night was the iconic picture of a lone footprint on the moon.

If you’re using to use it in an illustrative way, then fine. But most of the time I see this picture used, it’s used improperly. For starters, I often see it upside-down. And, in fact, the version the Associated Press sent out was upside-down.

The one you see there is correct — scanned by NASA directly from the negative.

Secondly, I see this often captioned as either a) Neil Armstrong’s very first footprint on the moon, or b) “a footprint left by one of the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission.” Which is, in fact, the way the AP captioned that picture Saturday.

And that’s baloney. The footprint belongs to Buzz Aldrin. So does the boot that you see in the fourth and fifth pictures of the sequence he photographed himself, about 40 minutes after he stepped out of the lunar lander.



NASA very carefully reconstructed what happened on the moon every moment of every mission. Most of that material is available to you in the form of “surface journals” that include transcripts and links to each picture or film clip shot. Everything is carefully labeled — NASA knows who shot which picture, with which camera and which roll of film it was on.

None of that is open for debate. Yet, Associated Press moves an upside-down picture and an inaccurate cutline. Sigh…

Because AP got it wrong, perhaps I shouldn’t blame papers for using this shot incorrectly. Still, wrong is wrong. The only way we can hope for AP getting its act together is to go on the record with the errors we find.

Not only did the 16,696 Quincy (Ill.) Herald-Whig run the picture upside-down — the way AP moved it — they also implied with the headline this was, in fact, Armstrong’s “one small step.”

Quincy certainly wasn’t the only paper to use this picture. Here are the Citizen Tribune of Morristown, Tenn. (circulation 18,923) , and the Quad-City Times of Davenport, Iowa (circulation 46,824).

The 94,016-circulation Daily News of Los Angeles used the picture. And so did all the Daily News‘ sister papers, including the Long Beach Press-Telegram (circulation 82,556)…



…the Daily Breeze of Torrence (circulation 75,352), the Daily Bulletin of Ontario (circulation 61,699) and the Sun of San Bernardino (circulation 56,456).

Other papers going using the footprint prominently today: The Citizens’ Voice of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., the Times-News of Twin Falls, Idaho…


…the Journal Star of Peoria, Ill., the Times of Valdosta, Ga., and the Herald of Brownsville, Texas.

And I’ll have to pick on my former colleagues at the Virginian-Pilot. I loved their front page today. And I loved the look of the jump page inside. However, not only did they run the footprint flopped…

…they also ran this cutline with it. Which is just flat-out wrong.


The thing I feared most was a newspaper running a picture of Buzz Aldrin on page one today and either a) claiming or b) implying it’s a picture of Neil Armstrong. As we’ve said, there are hardly any pictures of Neil on the surface of the moon.

Sure enough, that’s just the trap that ensnared the Lima News of Ohio, circulation 29,120.

Granted, there is no cutline that says that’s Neil Armstrong standing by the flag in that picture. But, of course, it’s not Neil. So there’s no reason to use this picture at all.

Boo, hiss, Lima.

UPDATE – 5:45 p.m.

My pal Chris Olds of Beckett Media points out that Lima is minutes away from Wapakoneta, Armstrong’s home town. Making this error all the more worse.

Ditto for these sister papers in Massachusetts — the Herald News of Fall River (circulation 14,979) and the Gazette of Taunton (circulation 6,703). Neither should have used that picture in its skybox today.

I got all worked up about the New York Post — a paper I don’t exactly admire in the first place. I was halfway into writing a scathing rebuke of these guys before my eyes finally landed on something in the picture that caused me to stop.

Can you spot it, too?

Check out the flag. It’s at half-staff. Meaning this is a photoillustration.

Granted, the “photoillustration” credit is very tiny and runs vertically up the left side of the art. But still. One can interpret this as Buzz, saluting the flag at half-mast for his fallen commander.

So I’m going to give the Post a free pass on this one. Plus, brownie points for being so clever.

Average daily circulation for the New York Post is 555,327.


I hate to accuse anyone of making a dumbass mistake. But there’s really no other way to describe the boneheaded blunder atop today’s El Paso Times.

Here’s a closer look at the Neil Armstrong skybox promo.

Which features a nice, cutout picture. Of Michael Collins.

Collins was the third member of the Apollo 11 crew. He’s the one who stayed in lunar orbit in the Apollo capsule while Aldrin and Armstrong landed on the moon.

Needless to say, Michael Collins did not die Saturday.

Here is the Associated Press picture from which the Times extracted that promo. The picture appears to be captioned correctly. I have no freakin’ idea what would cause the designer to cut out the wrong astronaut.

Unless he was distracted, perhaps, by Buzz Aldrin’s hairpiece. 

Average daily circulation for the El Paso Times is 70,450.


I started out this post by explaining how disappointed I was — originally — with Florida Today‘s front-page presentation of Armstrong’s passing. Until I found out that today’s paper was wrapped in a special Neil Armstrong special section.

Double-ditto on that with the Houston Chronicle. Armstrong lived in Houston during the time in his life when he became famous in the first place. But all he gets is a strip across the top of the page?

UPDATE – 7 p.m.

Gawker wasn’t very impressed with the Chronicle‘s headline.

Perhaps the Chronicle also ran a special section or a wrap today. If they did and if you have PDFs you can send me, please do.

Average daily circulation of the Chronicle is 384,007.

Meanwhile, I was delighted with the treatment on page one of the paper where Armstrong has lived for the past several decades: Cincinnati. The Enquirer skipped all the standard Apollo 11-era pictures — which we’ve seen so many times over the years — and instead used something from Neil’s previous NASA mission, Gemini 8.

Average daily circulation for the Enquirer is 144,165.

The News & Advance of Lynchburg, Va. — circulation 26,092 — used that same file photo today, but with not nearly as much bang.


The paper where I worked 20 years ago — the Herald of Rock Hill, S.C. — reached deep into the archives to find this picture of the three Apollo 11 astronauts making their way out of the preparation facility and to the van that would drive them to their launch vehicle on July 16, 1969.

The coolest thing about Rock Hill’s coverage today, however, is the local angle the paper took with its lead story. Charlie Duke — who walked on the moon in Apollo 16 and who served as the official voice of mission control during the actual landing of Apollo 11 — is from nearby Lancaster. The story works in Duke’s memories of that night.

Average daily circulation for the Herald is 21,063.

Also leading with that same picture today: The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., and the Star of Anniston, Ala.


A few other papers also reached deep down to find pictures of Armstrong during his Gemini 8 days.

From left to right: The News Tribune of Jefferson City, Mo., the Post-Standard of Syracuse, N.Y., and the Daily Sun of the Villages, Fla.

Two papers led today with pictures of the Earth rising over the moon, as seen from lunar orbit by the astronauts aboard Apollo 11. On the left is the Stockton (Calif.) Record. On the right is the Tribune of Bismarck, N.D.


This worked fine… as long as the picture really is from Apollo 11. As opposed to the more iconic, more famous picture of Earthrise shot by Apollo 8. I have no reason to believe these pictures were not shot from Apollo 11, so I’ll give these pages praise here.

Granted, though, after all I’ve written here, I’m too tired to go check.

And just a handful of papers led today with nice portraits of Armstrong shot fairly recently. The picture you see here on the front of the Dayton Daily News — circulation 93,425 — is a file shot by staffer Chris Stewart.

That same picture — and page design — was also used by Dayton’s sister papers in Springfield, Middletown and Hamilton.

And that brings us to my second-favorite front page of the day: This one by the Journal & Courier of Lafayette, Ind. — the home of Purdue University, where Armstrong attended college.

The wonderful portrait there was shot by Cliff Owen of the Associated Press during a Senate committee hearing three months ago.

Average daily circulation for the Journal & Courier is 25,531.

All of these newspaper pages — with the exception of the Florida Today material and the Virginian-Pilot page I obviously photographed myself — are from the Newseum. Of course.

Huntsville Times’ Paul Wallen moving to Tampa Bay Times of St. Pete, Fla.

As it turns out, Paul Wallen of the Huntsville Times— for my money, one of the best designers working in newspapers today — will not lose his job when Advance Publications consolidates design and editing for its Alabama papers into Birmingham.

Because he won’t be in Alabama much longer anyway.

Suzette Moyer, art director of the Tampa Bay Times in St. Petersburg, Fla., announced tonight:

We are so excited to have Paul join the Tampa Bay Times. I met Paul about 12 years ago at an SND event in Hartford, Conn. He was working in Maine at the time. We immediately clicked and I’ve been a fan of his work ever since.

He will be a senior designer and work on Bay magazine, a glossy publication that the Times launched five years ago. He’ll also work on the Latitudes section, one of the more popular Sunday sections. Latitudes features literature, arts and travel. Paul will contribute to other sections as well and I know will be a huge asset in helping other designers raise the visual bar in St. Petersburg.

He starts July 23.

Paul started out as a journalist for the U.S. Navy in the late 1980s. He has worked as sports editor of the Marshall, Texas, News Message, graphics editor of the Evansville (Ind.) Press, design editor for a chain of suburban papers near Chicago, a designer for the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, a designer for the Lexington, Ky., Herald-Leader, design editor of the Baltimore Sun, managing editor for visuals for the Lewiston, Maine, Sun Journal, sports designer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, design director of the Sun Sentinel of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and then assistant managing editor for design and sports of the Kerrville (Texas) Daily Times. Paul took a little time off from journalism to serve as a foster parent before moving to the Huntsville Times two years ago.

A few samples of Paul’s work:






Find Paul’s online portfolio here, his NewsPageDesign portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.

Two of the top-notch visual journalism casualties of Advance Publications’ bloodbath

Tuesday was a bloodbath for Advance Publications’ papers in New Orleans and Alabama.

  • 84 positions were cut from the Times-Picayune newsroom. That’s a reduction of 49 percent.
  • 61 positions were cut from the Birmingham News newsroom. That’s a reduction of 59 percent.
  • I have no numbers about the other two Advance papers in Alabama. However, the Press-Register of Mobile reported Tuesday that a total of 400 employees in Alabama will — ahem — “experience an employment loss.”

I’m not sure how soon these layoffs actually take place. I saw reported somewhere — and I failed to bookmark it — that, in order to receive their full severance, folks laid off must stay in their jobs through a certain date — late summer, I believe.

Meanwhile, Advance says it’ll be posting new jobs by the end of this week. Campbell Robertson of the New York Times cites Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss as saying…

…a coming series of hires would mean that by fall the newsroom would be smaller by only about 32 people. The decisions about whom to lay off, he said, were made for both economic reasons and as part of a new digital approach to journalism.

“Economic reasons.” I’m left to presume that means they want to pay folks less.

At least the Times-Picayune acknowledged the drastic cuts on page one today. As Poynter’s Julie Moos notes, the Alabama papers continued to downplay the impact on their newsgathering operations.

Gambit reports something that strikes me as rather gutless — or, at best, thoughtless:

No one from Advance Publications or Newhouse, the parent companies of The Times-Picayune, was on hand to deliver the news — leaving the job to the paper’s editors in brief individual meetings with those whom they supervised. The paper’s new publisher, Ricky Mathews, was not seen in the building.

And an amusing note, also from Gambit:

Outside Wit’s Inn [where those laid off gathered to drink], someone called up NOLA.com on a smartphone and tried to watch a video of Amoss that had been posted earlier in the day — a video addressed to the paper’s readers, in which Amoss promised the new, smaller news operation’s future might be digital rather than print, but it would be just as bright.

The video, however, was not formatted to play on smartphones.

Find the video here.

Getting the boot from New Orleans will be graphic artist Ryan Smith.

He’s not exaggerating. Ryan and two Times-Picayune colleagues — reporter Brendan McCarthy and photographer Michael DeMocker — were Pulitzer finalists in 2009 for a series on the murder of a 17-year-old local man.

A 2007 graduate of Ball State University, Ryan was a designer, artist and columnist for the Ball State Daily News. Unfortunately, I can’t find an online portfolio for him. Here is what I can find from my archives:



Here’s a fairly recent piece Ryan built for the Times-Picayune‘s series on jails and prisons.

Find his Tumblr blog here and his Twitter feed here.

Over in Alabama, the axe fell on someone I consider to be one of the best design directors in the nation: Paul Wallen of the Huntsville Times.

UPDATE – 4 p.m.

I’m told that Paul wasn’t actually laid off. I’m told that Paul was offered a position in Birmingham (see the next graf).

Back to my original post…

Thinking that Advance’s Alabama papers might consolidate design in its Birmingham office, Paul was actually in the process of transitioning out of design and into a features reporting position. He had asked me not to write about that just yet, out of consideration for his corporate bosses.

However, the Times reported Tuesday:

As part of forming the new companies, functions such as copy editing and design, advertising production and the companies’ call center will be centralized in Birmingham. Additionally, printing and packaging of The Times will be performed in Birmingham beginning this summer.

So I consider that bag to now be catless.

Funny, though, how Paul’s concern for his company seems to be greater than its concern for him. Or its appreciation of the fabulous work he’s done for them.

In my opinion. But that’s the way Paul is. He was also very conscientious of his bosses and co-workers when he was laid off by the Tribune company back in 2009.

Paul started out as a journalist for the U.S. Navy in the late 1980s. He has worked as sports editor of the Marshall, Texas, News Message, graphics editor of the Evansville (Ind.) Press, design editor for a chain of suburban papers near Chicago, a designer for the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, a designer for the Lexington, Ky., Herald-Leader, design editor of the Baltimore Sun, managing editor for visuals for the Lewiston, Maine, Sun Journal, sports designer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, design director of the Sun Sentinel of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and then assistant managing editor for design and sports of the Kerrville (Texas) Daily Times. Paul took a little time off from journalism to serve as a foster parent before moving to the Huntsville Times two years ago.

I’ve posted so much of Paul’s work over the years that I hardly know where to begin pulling samples to show you…






Find Paul’s online portfolio here, his NewsPageDesign portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.

I would imagine that both Ryan and Paul are now on the job market. If you’re looking for a top-notch visuals pro, please contact them. If you need help contacting either of them, let me know right away.

Also, I imagine these aren’t the only two visual journalists laid off yesterday. They’re the only two who I’ve seen announce it on Twitter.

The best coverage of this debacle has come from Gambit, a New Orleans alt-weekly. Find it here. Find Gambit‘s Twitter feed here.

Coverage of the happenings in Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville is quite a bit more spotty — mostly because those papers have been so cagey in the way they’ve reported about themselves.

Find today’s New York Times report here.

Poynter’s Jeff Sonderman reports that Advance’s 600 layoffs Tuesday is not even the biggest one-day layoff in media history. Find that here.

A few notable images from today’s front pages

Here are a few notable — and, in some cases, amusing — images from the nation’s front pages today…


Of course, that’s not really what new Denver Bronco quarterback Peyton Manning is saying. I don’t think.

That picture by John Leyba of the Denver Post was lead art on today’s front page.

Average daily circulation for the Post is 401,120.


That’s OK, though. I doubt the tourism industry in Atlantic Beach wanted to make any money this summer anyway.

The aerial photo is by staffer Clem Murray. Average daily circulation for the Philadelphia Daily News is 110,000.


It was a slow news day in Idaho, so the folks at the Lewiston Tribune had no trouble selecting this gorgeous nature shot by staffer Barry Kough for today’s front page.

It was “only” wild art, yet the Tribune gave the picture a hell of a ride today, all the way across six columns. The cutline refered to the weather page inside.

Averaged daily circulation for the Lewiston Tribune is 23,421.


A lingerie shop employee is fired because her breasts are too large and distracting.

Only in New York would this sort of thing happen. Only in New York would it make page one.


You’ve got to admit, though, that Rack and Ruin headline is pretty, um, funny.

On the left: New York Post, circulation 555,327. Photo by staffer Matthew McDermott.

On the right: Daily News, circulation 579,636. Photo by staffer Andrew Savulich.


Not news: A stock-car driver smacks into the wall during a race.

News: He’s critically injured.

Page-one news: The driver was 12 years old.

That’s Tyler Morr, driving the No. 17 car Saturday in a picture by freelancer Chuck Green. Shortly after, Tyler crashed. As of Monday night, he was still in critical condition at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.

The picture and story made page one of today’s Tampa Bay Times.

Read the story here by the TimesLaura C. Morel and Lane DeGregory.

Average daily circulation for the Times is 299,497.


The most outstanding front-page infographic of the day is this one by Huntsville Times intern Cait Palmiter.

Click for a much larger view:

Among the elements Cait used here…

  1. A map of the metro Huntsville area with bubble charts showing the number of accidents at selected intersections.
  2. A photo of the area’s worst intersection.
  3. A bar chart — on a curved baseline — to show what time of day most accidents occur in Huntsville. That chart is also color-coded.
  4. Two more curved charts that show what day of the week and what month of the year the most accidents occur. While the bars are arranged differently — they’re more like stacked bars along that same curved baseline — they’re still color-coded like the first chart.
  5. A bar chart in the lower left that cites the top six causes for accidents.

I might quibble with some of the placement of her labels, especially on the map. But other than that minor point, this is a pretty swell effort.

Here’s the entire page:

Cait graduated cum lade from Michigan State last December. Her internship started in late February. I’m not sure when that internship ends, but I’d imagine she’d make a fine catch for some paper.

Find Cait’s portfolio sites here and here and her Twitter feed here.

Average daily circulation for the Huntsville Times is 44,725.

All of these front-page images are from the Newseum. Of course.

Huntsville designer Bethany Bickley moving to the Virginian-Pilot

Bethany Bickley — a brilliantly talented designer and illustrator for the Huntsville (Ala.) Times — is moving to Norfolk, Va., to join the staff of the Virginian-Pilot.

She announced today via Facebook:

It’s official! I’ve accepted a news design position at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk and will start in 3 weeks. I’m thankful for all that I have learned in Huntsville and all of the opportunities I’ve been given. I’ll dearly miss all of my friends, but I couldn’t be more excited for this new adventure.

A 2010 graduate of Ohio University, Bethany won first place for features page and second place for art and illustration in the Society for News Design student design contest sponsored by Michigan State University. She signed on as a summer intern that years in Huntsville, which wisely elected to keep her on permanently.

I’ve written Bethany up a number of times here in the blog, most notably here, here, here and here. A few samples of her work:



And here’s a heads-up to Virginian-Pilot design team leader Paul Nelson: Bethany has been known to talk her bosses into doing some mighty strange things. Mighty strange indeed. This was for a Halloween costume ASF last fall.

Find Bethany’s online portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

Huntsville (Ala.) Times seeking to make a fast hire

My good friend Paul Wallen — design director of the 44,462-circulation Huntsville (Ala.) Times — is looking to hire a copy editor + page designer type for its universal desk.

He’s placed ads in all the usual places. But he asked me to give it a ride here, as well. I’m a huge fan of both Paul and his paper, so here ya go:

We have an immediate opportunity for a copy editor/page designer at the Huntsville Times in Northern Alabama, where you’ll find a one-of-a-kind blend of opportunity, freedom, quality coaching and fun.

We’re looking for both design and copy editing help, and can tailor this position to your strength. (We do expect designers to be comfortable working with words and basic editing, and our copy editors to be willing to learn some basic page layout. Bonus points if you’re flexible enough to do both!)

Opportunity: You’ll have the chance to do anything and everything. Want to super charge your portfolio or clips? Gain valuable real-world experience? You can do both at the Huntsville Times.

Freedom: We’re bold. We take chances. We listen to ideas. We love creativity. At The Times, you’ll be empowered, not limited.

Quality coaching: If you want guidance and feedback from leaders with a track record of success, you’ll find it here.

Fun: We love what we do. We’re looking for people who feel the same way.

Our location is part of the attraction as well. Huntsville is a hidden gem of the South, with rolling hills, a progressive community and one of the highest concentrations of PhDs per capita in the country. NASA got its start here, there’s a strong government and military presence — and a lot more retail and cool stuff to do than you might guess.

Here’s what we’re looking for: A strong, versatile skill set, great work ethic, positive attitude and a willingness to learn. A flair for storytelling and a desire to innovate will move you to the top of the list!

Send a letter, resume and work samples to Design Director Paul Wallen right away, we plan to move fast! E-mail and digital samples are fine.

I’m not sure what more I can tell you than that…

  • Huntsville is a very cool place to live. You have mountains, you have water. You have culture. You have a huge NASA center.
  • Paul has an amazing track record as a mentor of design talent.
  • The Times does indeed do great work. A few quick examples…




I’ve posted a lot of Huntsville pages over the years. Find many of those posts here.

Here is Paul’s contact info:


Paul Wallen, design director

The Huntsville Times

(954) 980-4836

paul.wallen [at] htimes.com

If you’re interested, contact him right away.

Huntsville sports editor John Turner moving to the Sporting News

Sports editor John Turner of the Huntsville Times announced today via Facebook:

I’ve accepted a position as Senior Digital Editor with The Sporting News and will be moving to Charlotte two weeks from today.

I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity, yet at the same time grateful for the chance The Huntsville Times took on me as a young sports editor. Thank you to everyone who’s supported me while far from home, pursuing my dream.

A 2008 graduate of Bowling Green State University, John spent about a year-and-a-half as sports editor of the Daily Times of Kerrville, Texas, before joining the Huntsville Times in 2010.

A few of his print creations during his time in Huntsville: