New name, same great paper(s)

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By Travis MountsTSnews

You’ll notice a bit of a different look in the masthead of this week’s paper, Aug. 27.You’ll also see some minor changes in our bylines and photo credits.Let us introduce you to TSnews, the new name for the combined editions of The Times-Sentinel, the Haysville Sun-Times and the Conway Springs Star & Argonia Argosy.A lot of thought went into what to call our combined paper going forward, and yet our first idea turned into what we feel is the best one. TSnews feels right for several reasons.The official business name is Times-Sentinel Newspapers, LLC, and comes from the name The Times-Sentinel, reflecting the first papers in this operation: The Cheney Sentinel, the Clearwater Times and the West Sedgwick County News-Sentinel of Goddard.Back in the early 1990s, we couldn’t have predicted what other titles would be part of this family of newspapers, or that they would wind up in one paper.The “T” and the “S” can also stand for most of the other papers: The Conway Springs Star. The Haysville Sun. The Haysville Times. The “News” part of News-Sentinel is included. The only name that isn’t directly reflected in “TSnews” is the Argosy. But we still love you, too, Argonia.Hyphens are a part of the newspaper names across the country, reflecting just how fluid our industry actually is. We created The Times-Sentinel, then inherited the Star-Argosy, which was a merged paper starting back in the 1970s. The Haysville Sun and Times merged before they came to us, as well.The big question, then, was what to call this new combined paper. You can only do so many names and so many hyphens.The Times-Star-Sentinel-News-Sun-Argosy doesn’t roll off the tongue.TSnews, however, is short and sweet. There’s some familiarity for all our readers, especially because of our shared website for the papers, tsnews.com.It just seems to us to be the way to go. You’ll still see logos from the three papers in the masthead, they’ll just be less prominent.And we’ll still answer to whatever name you use. Even after all this time, people still refer to the Star or the Sentinel, the Times (Clearwater or Haysville?) or the Argosy. All those are still us, and we’ll continue to maintain our separate social media accounts for those papers and communities.What we’ve learned from all this is just how interconnected our towns are. People want to know what is happening in their towns, but also in their neighboring communities where they have family and friends. We are very fortunate that all the papers we’ve been publishing connect geographically.And a single, larger paper has allowed us to offer things to many of our readers that they weren’t seeing before. That was especially true in Haysville and Sumner County, where the papers were smaller in size.In addition to continuing to cover the news in each of our communities, we feel we’ve been able to offer more lifestyle stories and columns like the Savvy Senior and Lindsey Young’s cooking column.There’s more flexibility in how we package the paper. Each town has ups and downs in their news cycles, and this format helps us handle that better.Going back to our website, we would like to officially announce changes to the tsnews.com website.We have a brand new look. It’s been a work in progress, something we had to do in a live setting. Because of technology, we weren’t able to design and test it before it went live.There are two big changes of note. The first is, we now have a paywall. That’s brand new for us, and we’re sure some people will object.Before the paywall, our website was a very low priority. Outside of breaking news, the website was only updated occasionally. When it was, it was with just a few stories that were generally posted two to three weeks after they appeared in print.Going forward, we’ll be putting up virtually all print stories online. Over the next few months, we’ll start posting more stories online first. Our next goal is to get a true e-edition online, where subscribers can view a digital version of the paper that is just like the actual printed version. This will be especially appealing to out-of-state subscribers who sometimes have to wait two weeks or more for the print edition to arrive.Readers can now subscribe online, too. You can sign up for an ongoing subscription for just $5 per month. You’ll never get a subscription renewal again, if that’s what you want. There’s also an option for an auto-renewal every six months.The technology we’re using will require a traditional renewal every year, but that’s something that can now be done online, too.We do ask for a little patience. We’re in just a little over our heads on the technology, but we’re learning as we go. We also have really smart people who are helping us when we need it.Our industry – like all media and many other industries – are evolving at a rapid rate. Frankly, some of these changes we are making are overdue.What hasn’t changed is our commitment to serving our advertisers and to providing community journalism. Honestly, we don’t know how to do anything else and really, we don’t want to.Your feedback continues to guide us. You’ve always let us know what you liked and didn’t like before, sometimes very candidly. Keep doing that. We need to hear from you about your community papers.These papers belong to you as much as they do to us. Share your thoughts by email, by phone, and whenever you see us.You are the reason we’re still here. We will do everything we can to still be here for you, too.
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