Monday, April 7, 2008

Boston Globe Sunday Business Section...gets new look, consolidates two sections

Another shoe is dropping for newspaper business sections (see "The future of newspapers' business sections in the Internet age"). This time it's the Boston Globe, which announced that it will consolidate its Sunday Business & Money section with its Careers section.

The Globe tried positioning this as a positive thing, with its article actually using the more positive word, "combine," claiming that the reason was "to offer readers more focused coverage on personal finance and the workplace. By bringing together these two sections, readers will be able to catch up on investing news and career advice in one convenient place."

Ok, first, that last sentence is grammatically wrong -- so I'd say the Globe might've combined copyediting with copywriting. Correctly written, the sentence would read, "By bringing together these two sections, the Globe offers readers investing news and career advice in one convenient place." (It's not the readers who are doing the bringing together; it's the Globe's accountants.)

The new combined section will banish the Globe's stock and mutual fund listings to the Globe's website -- a move made by other newspapers, including its parent paper, the New York Times.

Instead, the section will offer a new two-page package of stories and graphics. The article emphasized the graphics.

I'm not surprised.

It wasn't that long ago when the Globe redesigned its Career section -- and eliminated all locally produced content, replacing it with syndicated content.

Yet people like local. Especially in the Boston area.

Which may explain why they brought back some local features like Maggie Jackson's "Balancing Acts" column and the "Job Docs" Q&A column.

Seems to me that the real problem with the Globe's Help Wanted ads is that they are not organized the way the New York Times' ads are -- by industry category. That makes it a lot easier to quickly search for appropriate job postings.

The new Money & Careers section may not solve the Globe's cost issues. The graphics seem to be a way to reduce local content, which may make it less of an inviting section for local advertisers -- and that could push the Sunday section in a downward spiral.

Let's hope it doesn't get that way. But what's next could be combining other sections: Anyone interested in reading the "Money & Careers & Cars & Real Estate" section?

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