The new features section we've been planning isn't a secret per se, but it's not exactly something that has had the benefit of a pre-launch PR blitz, either. Since L.A. Observed has reported on another blog's reporting of it, I guess it's OK for me to hold up the cat for a little inspection.
(Clicking through Kevin's L.A. Observed link, Laura Stegman's PR blog, which has an interview of sorts with our entertainment editor Rob Lowman, looks like a pretty good source for those who practice the craft of flackery).
But back to the matter at hand: Yep, we're starting the new section -- called LA.com or Go!, depending on your locale -- this Monday. It also means all the features content from the Daily News (and the entire Los Angeles Newspaper Group) is moving from Dailynews.com to LA.com. There will be much less duplication of effort among the various newspapers in the group, but there will still be room for zoned stories from the various communities our papers serve. That's the PR version. So far I've enjoyed working with the features people from the Daily Breeze, MediaNews' most recent acquisition, and they've already added a lot of good copy to the pages of the soon-not-to-be-called U section.
One thing we do have at the Daily News that isn't part of the entire LANG group is a dog-choking monthly "expanded" health section. The most recent one ran last Monday. And with the many three-week vacations that have hit our staffing in recent months, I nearly expired trying to get the damn thing out the door. I counted five stories inside that, on a regular week, would each be cover-story worthy.
Back to the new section. It'll be called LA.com for the Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram and Torrance Daily Breeze. The title will be Go! in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino valleys. Combined sections, with some zoned pages, aren't exactly new in the newspaper game, but it's a big deal for the features departments at the various LANG papers.
Local coverage will not go away from these newspapers. One thing I can tell you -- as an "efficiency" move, this whole deal should make a stronger section, one that has the potential to increase advertising both in print and online, giving us all a better forum in which to what it is we do here. When it comes to the Daily News, I've always told anybody who'll listen that there are a whole lot of great writers in this features department -- and that is something that won't change at all as we make the move from U to LA.com.