TOWN OF BELOIT
I write this from a patio chair at my wife’s sewing table.
We don’t have a home office, so when The Gazette newsroom decided it was time March 24 to disperse from our downtown Janesville building and start working from our homes, all of us had to make adjustments.
It’s among a cascade of changes implemented by the newsroom in recent weeks. There’s another obvious one today: The kicks section is temporarily being shifted from the Thursday edition to Sunday.
Starting Sunday, kicks will be a two-page section inside the Living section. We believe it is our best and simplest option.
A change was required because almost all the events and performances that make up the bulk of kicks coverage have been postponed or canceled. Also, our reporters are currently restricted to 30-hour work weeks to help us get through this difficult time, all but eliminating their availability to write for kicks. Much of reporters’ time is consumed producing local coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We considered adding kicks to the A section or B section on Thursdays, but that would have caused other problems. Readers probably have noticed we’ve adopted a new 12-page minimum for The Gazette—six pages in the A section and six pages in the B section. Our previous minimum was 16 pages, but we needed to reduce the space the sports department is required to fill because all sports events have also been canceled or postponed. Reducing the size of the B section to accommodate sports meant reducing the size of the A section, too, because our press requires that the sections match.
Adding kicks to either the A or B section would have increased the size of the Thursday edition more than would have been manageable. The Living section on Sunday, however, is easily able to accommodate extra pages for kicks.
Greg Little, our kicks editor, has a list of features and 20Qs in the pipeline and will see kicks through this challenge. Eventually, kicks will return to being a standalone section on Thursdays.
We hope you, our readers, understand the changes we’ve made, and we thank you for your continued support.
All of us are making adjustments, and I suspect I’m not the only one working at home from lawn furniture. I tried a wooden dining room chair, but even with two seat cushions, it didn’t work.
The patio chair rocks and swivels and has a mesh back.
Just like the chair in my Gazette office.
Sid Schwartz is editor of The Gazette.