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Times revamps design, expands coverage

- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Washington Times introduces an expanded edition Monday that restores coverage in sports, local news and the arts in a new design that showcases the newspaper's signature content, photography and commentary.

As part of the expansion, regional home delivery also has been reinstated.

"We have learned a great deal in our history of nearly 30 years as a news organization. The Washington Times will stay a reliable voice in Washington. Through the newspaper and further through our multimedia, we'll help readers nationally and internationally to understand a complex world while remaining true to the values we cherish — freedom, faith, family and service. There is still much work to be done," said Washington Times Chairman Douglas D.M. Joo.

The revamped newspaper is organized into three major sections that feature breaking news, commentary, sports, arts, columns, features and reader favorites that have been the backbone of The Times since the newspaper's beginnings nearly three decades ago.

"Everyone who lives in our nation's capital region deserves vibrant and intelligent debate on the critical issues we face today expressed through news and opinion that earns the trust of our readers," said Washington Times President Thomas P. McDevitt.

"Resetting our daily newspaper is a vital first step. With Washington as our home field, we are committed to serve national and global audiences through a spectrum of channels including print, Web, mobile, radio and television," Mr. McDevitt said.

The expanded edition of The Times follows a complex 18-month period for the newspaper marked by administrative and management shuffles plus staff, content and circulation cuts. In November, the paper was sold to a group operating on behalf of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who founded the publication in 1982. The new owners vowed to return The Times to its traditional size and scope.

While plans to expand and improve The Times' website will be revealed at a future date, the public availability of the print version is paramount.

"The Times will restore full-scale home delivery throughout the District of Columbia, the Maryland and Virginia suburbs and the greater metropolitan region, from Annapolis to Loudoun County," said Tom Culligan, chief revenue and marketing officer for the company.

A basic Times subscription is now $5 for four weeks, $30 for 24 weeks or $65 for a year.

A vigorous Sports section, long a Washington Times mainstay, is part of the new package, dedicated to in-depth coverage of and commentary on local and national sports news.

"The one thing I can promise our readers is that they will have fun reading this section," said new Sports Editor Mike Harris, a veteran journalist who earned his stripes during editing stints for AOL, the Richmond News Leader, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and CBS.

The revamped A section contains political, world and national news; investigative reporting; defense and national security coverage; a slew of new daily columns; plus a new page dedicated to economic, business and investment news. The paper has rebuilt its local coverage of Washington and the surrounding metro region.

"Everyone's interested in hometown news. When the hometown is the nation's capital, it's vital to keep people accountable and expose incompetence and hypocrisy," said new Metro Editor Matt Cella.

A stand-alone Commentary section will continue to offer the opinions and editorials of the nation's most provocative conservative thinkers and watchdogs, with an eye toward upholding traditional values and principles while keeping politicians and officials of all parties and persuasions honest.

The new Sports section offers a full page daily of color comics, as well as crossword and Sudoku puzzles. Also being revived is the newspaper's Life section, a daily chronicle of the culture that includes provocative insights into movies, television and the arts. On Fridays, the reborn Weekend Life section will offer an eclectic mix of feature stories, reviews and listings of local events.

"The sections feature a freer range of content, along with a familiar blend of humor, ideas and independent-minded coverage of the entertainment world," said Daniel Wattenberg, editor of the rebuilt section. "I hope readers will enjoy the emergence of this new section as much as I will."

And not to be overlooked: The ever popular, ever practical HomeGuide and AutoWeekend — two longtime offerings for prospective buyers, sellers and market watchers — will be included each Friday for weekend readers.

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