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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Courier is no more. Long live the Courier!

That's, actually, the former Courier News online presence.

You may have noticed an online beta site for a new web presence to be operated jointly by
the Courier News and The Home News Tribune, Gannett's central Jersey newspapers.

The official launch is today, announced in the print editions of both papers, and -- sort of -- online, when my page left open to the beta site last night came up this morning with a '404 - Page not found' error.

You will want to check it out.

The site seems pretty well thought out, but you will have to get used to where things are placed, as well as the 'carousel', the revolving top stories gizmo that seems to be all the rage with online newspapers now.

I'll go into that more later, but for today just note that if you click on the 'Union County' section you will be whisked to Hunterdon County.

It's a shakedown cruise -- I'm sure all will get straightened out in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the new site fuels the gossip that has been making the rounds for months: that Gannett will eventually cashier the print editions of both the
Courier News and The Home News Tribune, replacing them with a joint online edition and reducing the print editions to a Sunday version only.

I checked around in the media network and consistently drew blanks, but this may be the first shoe dropping.

If you think the gossip is far-fetched, check out what is going on in Madison, Wisconsin, where the 90-year old Capital Times, founded during the days of the Progressive Movement, shuttered its print edition and went online (see more here). For The Capital Times, its entertainment section and a weekly news guide will be printed as inserts in the Sunday editions of its cross-town competitor The Wisconsin State Journal.

Does ths mean the Courier may eventually be an insert in the Sunday Star-Ledger?


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