A note to our readers

December 13, 2004

Starting today, you'll notice some changes in the features and sports sections of The Sun.

We've given Page 2 a makeover in both the Today and Sports sections.

In Today, we've made it livelier, adding a new comic, Speed Bump, and a quote of the day. Ask Amy, our advice column, is now anchored on this page.

In Sports, we've added "The Kickoff," a new design featuring Peter Schmuck's column four days a week, an expanded, easier-to-read digest of the day, and complete sports television listings.

In Today, the TV/Comics pages have been revamped for the first time in nearly 10 years. Before we tinkered with the comics, we got your input. In two recent surveys, we asked for your favorites from the existing lineup and your opinions about some possible new entries. In two weeks, we received more than 8,500 responses. Your top 22 choices remain in The Sun.

The lowest vote-getters were eliminated to make room for five new comics that received high marks from readers in our poll. Classics like Beetle Bailey and Rex Morgan now share space with new ones such as Get Fuzzy and Pearls Before Swine.

We understand that comics can be like old friends, but we hope you'll find humor, charm and wit in these new features.

We've also made some changes in our TV coverage. Since daytime programming is so often the same, we're no longer running morning and afternoon TV grids. Instead, we're expanding our highlights and adding a section about talk show guests. As part of the redesign, we've eliminated the VCR Plus codes, which have become less necessary with changing technology.

We've also eliminated one crossword puzzle during the week. The popular New York Times crossword remains, and we still have two crosswords in the Sunday Perspective section. The TV book continues to have its own crossword, and the popular Jumble word game appears every day.

We've set up a comments line for readers. The phone number is 410-783-2537. If you would like to send an e-mail instead, write to sun.features@baltsun.com and put "Features changes" in the subject field or go online at baltimoresun.com/comics.

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