By Todd Franko
What do you have against Duluth?
Why are the Sudoku answers printed the same day?
Will obituaries ever appear across two columns like the old days — instead of one column as they are now?
We are five days into our $10 million new life at The Vindicator — a new press, new color and new look. At other newspapers where such an overhaul has taken place, the first week has included multihour shutdowns, lost delivery times and other such calamities.
Well, we truly have been blessed with as successful a launch from a mechanical point of view as any of us can recall from our previous newspaper experiences. (Collective knock on wood, please).
Every night since Tuesday, a new paper has rolled off our $10 million investment. We have had some bumps but no bombs.
It’s also safe to say that the “new” Vindicator has not bombed with the majority of readers.
We’ve taken a few hundred phone calls. We’ve had about 100 e-mails and online message-board posts.
At least 80 percent — possibly 90 percent — of the feedback has been positive. Even the oftentimes caustic crowd on the message boards has been — gulp — generous to us. A sample: “Thank you, Vindicator, for being an important part of the Mahoning Valley and the Mahoning Valley’s resurgence. Keep up the good work.”
An e-mailer: “Just wanted to congratulate you and the staff on the successful debut of the new press and the new look of the Vindy. The paper looks great, and the changes are a plus.”
That’s been the majority.
But it’s not the entirety. Some expressed displeasure.
One reader railed on us rather forcefully for including the Sudoku answers right below the Sudoku puzzle. Honestly, I hate that crosswords withhold answers until the next day.
Carmakers don’t prevent your car from going over 65 mph even though the speed limit is such. We’re trusted to make the right decisions (or not). So if you’re doing your puzzle on a Thursday, you deserve to know Thursday.
It’s your call if you choose to peek.
A suggestion: As you’re doing the puzzle, simply fold the newspaper between the puzzle and the answer — and your temptation will be thwarted.
Duluth, Minn., was dropped from our city temperatures listing. Alas, a Valley native lives there, and his parents stay connected to his life via our weather page.
I had no idea. We’ll look into it. But it was nothing personal. Go Duluth!
We have been examining switching obits back to two columns. It could happen soon.
Late sports scores will return soon as well.
An overhaul like we’re going through is not easy. We will continue to have bumps for a few weeks.
But the immediate results are pleasing to us and to you. Well, most of you.