No doubt the first thing you'll notice about the new Sun is the striking change in the look of the front page, a change designed to make the paper easier to read and to present the day's news with the sense of vitality it deserves.
The look results from several important changes.
The first column is devoted to an index of what is in today's paper - the top stories from the nation, the world, the state, business, sports, features and the editorial pages - along with the Orioles score when they're playing and a quick look at the weather.
People in a hurry, as most readers are when they sit down with their morning paper, will be able to skim column one, find out quickly what's in the news and go directly to the stories that intrigue them most.
Nothing has been greeted more enthusiastically by the hundreds of readers who have previewed the changes in The Sun than the addition of this front-page index, a feature you will see repeated on the front of every section in the paper.
Devoting one column to an index, while still leaving enough room to display all the day's news, led to a decision that contributes to the classic look of the new Sun: the adoption of a seven-column format for all section fronts.
It is a change that recalls our past. Today most newspapers use a six-column format, a development that began in the early 1970s and became the norm in 1984 with the introduction of nationwide standards for ad sizes. Until then, most papers had more than six columns per page. The Sun, for example, used an eight-column format for most of its history.
The seven-column format gives the page a more vertical look, a striking change from the horizontal appearance typical of six-column layouts. It also tends to push more stories to the top of the page, giving the presentation a sense of excitement. While we use seven columns on section fronts, inside pages will remain in a six-column format to accommodate advertising.
The vitality of the seven-column format is further enhanced which serve the dual purpose of helping readers decide whether a story interests them by providing a quick look at the key points.
We've made another headline change to help readers distinquish feature stories from breaking news stories at a glance. Features will take italic headlines, followed by a brief summary of essence of the story.
Changes to the A-section
Sun Journal, a new feature seven days a week at the top of Page 2, offers profiles about men and women in the news, stories from abroad and closer to home about cultural events that are affecting people's lives, and stories with insight into national politics. It is the place to find tales about hunting big game in Africa, beer in Germany at Oktoberfest, the work of presidential campaign strategists and the life of a traffic cop in Moscow.
We've organized the news more sensibly, creating separate areas within the main news section for coverage of the nation and the world.
The People and Places column, a light-hearted look at celebrities, people in the news and quirky stories from around the nation and the world, moves from Page 2 of the section to Page 2 in Today, The Sun's features section.
The column by the nationally known team of Jack Germond and Jules Witcover moves from its previous home on Page 2 to the page opposite editorials, the same place other political columnists call home.