A simple analysis of the News-Sentinel's recent changes reveals some interesting facts. For example, a column on the Op/Ed page that was previously two inches is now one and three-quarters inches.
Since advertisers pay by size for marketing, one of two things needed to have occurred once the change was made. Either the News-Sentinel now relies on some new formula having nothing to do with space, or they raised their rates. I would think most advertisers suffering through these economic times would find it difficult to pay more for less (size DOES matter). Or perhaps the paper's circulation has increased? If so, then why mess with something that is already working well?
I believe the News-Sentinel's owner, publisher and editors are doing everything they can to keep this paper alive. But I would think rather than worry about half an inch of newsprint per page, they might consider paying closer attention to what is contained within those pages.
Now there's nothing wrong with "cub" reporters, but c'mon! Based upon what I read each day, the News-Sentinel might think about wooing a seasoned reporter or two to guide these newbies along as they perfect their craft. A byline is earned through talent, education, experience and an element of luck. A better investment would be in them; not in a slight decrease in the newsprint cost.
There is no such thing as a "Saturday/Sunday" edition of ANY viable newspaper. Receiving a Sunday paper is something many people look forward to even to the extent that it is often the only edition they subscribe for. Considering that the news we receive each morning by our doors has already been ingested and digested through other means (cable, Internet, etc.), pretending that the Saturday edition will tide folks over until Monday makes no sense.
I would also consider publishing the Op/Ed page every day. At least online, those editorials, columns, articles and letters garner far more interest than in any other part of the newspaper. I can't help but believe that advertisers look to the volume of readers even on the online version when considering where to invest their marketing dollars.