Appointment reading is now a thing.
As we continue moving through our 175th year, we are asking ourselves a long list of questions about how to create a better experience for our readers. A lot has changed in the past better part of two centuries since we began publishing this newspaper, but one thing remains: habits. People find a reassuring comfort in them — like knowing where they placed their reading glasses on the nightstand after having turned out the lights.
So why not do the same with their newspaper? Why not create the newspaper so readers can easily predict where to find what interests them? Why not create or introduce new content they can look forward to each day or week? It made perfectly good sense.
And so, began the internal quest of developing appointment reading in the pages of The Daily News.
I believe Michael Smith, editor of The Daily News, first coined the phrase during a brainstorming session. The words organically rolled out across the conference table.
“Appointment reading,” he said, “should be an item or feature that readers carve out time in their day or week to enjoy.”
Everyone understood what he meant. There is comfort in a habit — almost a psychological reward to ourselves when we practice them repeatedly. And we all wanted in.
First on the list was to anchor the editorial page, long a vagabond of the newspaper, to a predictable space you and others could easily find and read. And the easier for readers to use, and the more people discussing issues, the more impactful on the community. Now, with confidence, you can find the opinion pages anchored in the first section of The Daily News.
Next was to invest in expanding our popular Biz Buzz feature. Moving from Thursday to Sunday allowed for us to dedicate additional space and resources in making it the go-to business feature in the community. And from what we are hearing, readers are enjoying the more expansive coverage.
We then created something both new and topical. What in Galveston County, besides business, gets the coffee shops talking? Politics. Some say politics in Galveston County is a full-contact sport. Political Buzz was developed and introduced to our Thursday newspaper to drive this discussion. And with our best intentions, you will find it anchored in the A section.
We also anchored sports coverage on a section front and began introducing more local sports coverage into the section. We even added stock listings to the newspaper — something we thought was lost to the digital world — and readers responded with thumbs up.
Good news is, we are only getting started on developing appointment reading. Currently another exciting regular feature is in development — one we believe will light up water cooler conversations and bring an interesting source of news found only inside the pages of The Daily News. This is going to be fun for everyone.
Anything you would like to set an appointment for? Please let us know — we are listening.
Send your ideas to email@example.com