Times to unveil web redo, and Register begins delivery

Preview at

The Los Angeles Times is scheduled to take the wraps off its long-awaited website makeover later today. About time: the current site has become harder and harder to appreciate with seemingly uncurated postings, missing stories and a broken search function. Here's how Eddy Hartenstein flacked the changes to the newsroom.

From: Hartenstein, Eddy
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2014 9:22 AM
To: AllLosAngelesTimesEmployees
Subject: Announcing the New

All –

Over the past year, a team of our colleagues from various departments has taken a critical look at how we’ve previously presented our journalism and advertising digitally. We completely rethought how design and technology affect the consumption of news, information and images throughout the day. We took into account the inner-workings of a 21st century newsroom, how stories break and build, and how to best engage contemporary audiences. We evaluated current marketing trends to enable advertisers to better reach our broad readership, as well as target niche areas of interest. And we thought a lot about sparking conversations.

The result is the new, one of the largest fully responsive news sites ever built. It is a rich, dynamic showcase for our storytelling and an exceptional platform for our advertisers.

We’ll be meeting shortly for a sneak preview before tomorrow’s launch. These are some of the highlights you can expect from our new site:

• Conceived as mobile-first and built to adapt to future distribution models.
• Responsive design ensures a consistent, optimal reading experience across devices and desktops, be it mobile mornings, desktop days or lean-back evenings.
• Visually striking, bold design that highlights our marquee journalism, eliminates clutter and puts focus on our unique voices.
• Photo-centric browsing option that anchors and is accessible on all section fronts.
• Recognizes how readers search for news by treating article pages as entry points as valuable as the homepage.
• In-line and in-context video, photo galleries, story collections and slide-out panels that enhance our storytelling abilities and reader experience.
• Endless scrolling and multi-directional navigation that eradicates print-centric and antiquated web concepts, such as “the fold,” “the jump,” “endless clicking” and “the dead end.”
• Seamless pathing from one piece of content to the next, with section fronts and article pages anchored by a row of thumbnails that automatically transport readers to related coverage or other sections.
• Multiple quick-review and micro-sharing options, including at-a-glance “sharelines,” pull quotes and photos.
• New local feature pulling in neighborhood-level geocoded news and dining information, as well as crime data…with more to come.
• Expanded sales opportunities driven by increases in traffic and engagement, greater video pre-roll inventory, and new, responsive ad units.
• Disruption of the traditional page grid, which helps advertisers break through by solving for “right-rail blindness.”
• A new fully responsive, large-format ad unit offering advertisers and marketers an execution as technologically advanced and visually arresting as the rest of the new site.
• Browsing features that incorporate native advertising and sponsored content.

This is a very exciting moment in our digital evolution and this new platform architecture paves the way for all Tribune Publishing news sites. My deepest thanks and congratulations to all who have contributed to this massive undertaking.

See you at 11,

Well -- could be good. Or all this quote innovation unquote could end up wrong-headed like some of the previous innovations. An obvious weak link might be building in too much reliance on the LAT's mapping boundaries, which don't exactly get a lot of respect in the newsroom or around the city.

Some first reviews at Nieman Lab, Politico.

Meanwhile, the rival Register announced Monday it can now be delivered to your home. I don't know — the LA Register seems to have all but disappeared since that first week. Ever hear of it? It probably doesn't help that susbscribers get free Angels tickets. From the release:

Los Angeles has a new voice – a locally focused, community-building newspaper serving Los Angeles County called Los Angeles Register – that launched April 16. Starting today, the new daily newspaper is now delivered to driveways, doorsteps and offices through a subscription.

Subscriptions to the Los Angeles Register are available at an introductory rate of $19.99 for the first four weeks by visiting or calling 844-LA-REGISTER.

A daily subscription includes newspaper delivery, unlimited digital access, and four free Los Angeles Angels tickets as the first membership benefit through Register Connect . The program is free to seven-day subscribers, and includes benefits such as sports tickets, amusement park and concert tickets, aquarium passes, and many other VIP experiences.

Single copies of Los Angeles Register are also available at more than 5,500 retail and news rack locations across Los Angeles, including major grocery and convenience stores such as 7-Eleven and AM/PM, for $1.50 daily and $2 for Saturday and Sunday editions.

Los Angeles Register owners Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz hand-delivered copies of the newspaper during the April 16 launch day celebration , as did members of the Register newsroom and marketing staff. City leaders who participated in the launch day festivities included Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Register columnist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Dodgers’ legendary former manager Tommy Lasorda. Several business leaders from prominent Los Angeles landmarks and institutions also joined Los Angeles Register in celebrating its arrival, including Port of Los Angeles, City of Hope, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, California Science Center, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Museum of Natural History, Griffith Observatory and Universal Studios Hollywood.

"We launched Los Angeles Register because we care deeply about serving the people and communities in Los Angeles in ways that help them grow and thrive,” said Aaron Kushner, co-owner of Freedom Communications and Publisher of the Los Angeles Register. “We also believe there’s room for a locally focused, community-building newspaper that brings a unique political perspective in its Opinion pages, and covers local people, businesses and activities with great depth and verve.”

The Opinion pages bring a right-of-center political perspective to Los Angeles that focuses on free markets and individual liberties – more specifically the freedom to live your life, grow your business and inspire constructive change in your community. Opinion page columnists, led by Opinion Editor Brian Calle, are actively engaging in civil debate and inviting other strong voices to contribute opinions as diverse as the citizens and neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

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