A new era - letter from the editor
MONDAY morning will dawn on a new day and a new edition of the Coffs Coast Advocate.
For the first time in the 98-year history of the Coffs Coast Advocate, we will be published six days a week from this Monday, March 14.
The decision to add a sixth, Monday, edition to our stable of publications was not taken lightly.
Like any business decision, there was much debate, market analysis and economic evaluation regarding the feasibility and viability of introducing a new Monday newspaper.
However, the underlying view that kept arising throughout the development process was that the Coffs Coast has in the past decade 'come of age' and as we head into a new century, it simply made sense to publish a Monday edition.
Once the decision was agreed upon, work then began on planning the new Monday edition.
What would it look like? What new sections should it contain? Who would be our target audience? How many more staff would we need?
All these questions and more were dealt with in turn and eventually we arrived at what we believe will be the successful formula for our new paper.
In terms of staff, three new journalists have been appointed. They are Mel Martin, a relatively new arrival to the Coffs Coast, who joined the general news staff this week.
We have also welcomed sub-editor Roger Fryer who has lived in Woolgoolga for the past three years; and sports journalist Brad Greenshields who has lived in Coffs Harbour since 1997.
The production of the Monday edition will, for the first time in Coffs Harbour, result in journalists working each weekend. While we have always had our photography staff rostered on the weekend, our journalists were always able to chase up stories on Monday for the Tuesday paper.
What this means for our readers is that events which occur on the weekend can, from this weekend, be attended by a journalist with stories and photos appearing on the first day of the week, not the second.
In recognising the importance and value placed on our weekend sport, both locally and nationally, our Monday edition will also feature a 12-page Sport Xtra liftout.
This will contain news from the national NRL and AFL leagues, world soccer, Super 12s as well as match reports from a wide range of local weekend sport covered by our two sports journalists working the weekend.
While we are excited about the introduction of our Monday paper, we haven't lost sight of our other papers.
From Tuesday, our Business Weekly section will contain the top 100 share listed companies each week as well as a new column from economist Rodney Fox. All your taxation questions will be answered by local accountant Rob Caldwell and columnist Spencer Bruskin will return his focus to local Coffs Coast businesses.
In coming weeks we will also be introducing a new women's sport focus to our Tuesday sports pages as well as a family health page in our general news section.
On Thursday we will launch a revamped, new-look eight-page Entertainer section and in coming weeks we hope to launch a new history page in our Friday's edition.
The Coffs Coast Advocate enjoyed tremendous growth in 2004 and, in building on our successes of the past 12 months, we believe that these changes are a positive step not only for our business but for the entire Coffs Coast.
The Coffs Coast is a growing region and deserves a professional, dedicated six-day-a-week regional newspaper. We are proud to be able to serve our community and will continue to provide an informative, entertaining and sometimes controversial daily paper.