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Dallas News lifetsyles section...a work in progress Print E-mail
by Carolyn Barta    Sat, Oct 1, 2005, 09:08 PM

Everywhere I go lately, I hear grumbling about the recent changes in the Lifestyle sections of the Dallas Morning News. Maybe that’s to be expected for someone who spent most of her career at the DMN.

As if I could do anything about the makeover…other than to be a sounding board for acquaintances who are not happy.

226177-180464-thumbnail.jpgMy hairdresser grabbed my ear today. Stuff in Over the Top is two or three days old, she complained. It’s already been on TV and the Internet. Weekend movie box office figures released on Monday were used in Over the Top on Friday. Alan Peppard might as well take a hike; his column items are so small.

One rationale for changing to a tabloid section is that younger women -- soccer moms -- said they wanted to save the section until they had time to read it. Or take it with them on the road.

My hairdresser observed: “Soccer moms aren’t sitting in the carpool lines doing the crossword puzzle. They’re on the cell phone.”

What to do? The DMN is trying to attract younger readers, and for good reason. What will happen when old-time readers pass on? Still, the News can’t slap its established readership in the face.

Here’s my opinion on the new sections. The type face in GuideLive looks like a supermarket tabloid. Get rid of it. The type in Over the Top is too small, and then it’s screened, making it even harder to read. (Same problem as on the right-hand column on the front of Sunday Points.)

Other than that, I don’t have a problem with the new Lifestyles magazine section every day. But the journalist in me has to say: News is all about the content – not the packaging.

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