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A few changes this week -- for the better

It seems like 2009 has been about nothing but change at the Pioneer Journal and Intercom, and there are a few more this week. Hopefully our readers will like them.

The first is actually a change we implemented last week. Our Wadena City delivery routes had become unmanageably long ever since our combined delivery of the Intercom and PJ on those routes. Starting last week, we reinstated our PJ-only routes on Saturday mornings -- much like we used to deliver on Wednesday afternoons. We applaud our carriers who did a great job trying to keep up with the new routes, but at the end of the day, we were asking too much. So we'll deliver the PJ in the city of Wadena routes on Saturday morning, then go back over those routes for those who get the Intercom. It's not as cost-effective, but we recognize getting the PJ on time is job one. Now we're turning our attention to the rural delivery around the Wadena area to try to improve service there, too. Thanks to everyone who stuck with us through this change. I promised it wouldn't be easy or painless. It was neither, but we're learning a lot about our own production chain, and it's coming together now.

Next, you will notice this week we're going back to two sections of the PJ. Many people stopped me on the street to say they didn't like that change two years ago when we went to one section. The reason we did at the time was to gain some flexibility. But ever since we started putting all of the Intercom ads in the PJ, we're maxing out how many pages we can put in a single section. So, we're going back to two. That will make a lot of people happy, and a few sad. Count me in the latter group: I always liked the one, beefy section. But this will be nice, too.

It's been really nice having a new face in our building. Randy Johnson, who many of you know from his days at KWAD/KNSP, has been a welcome addition, both professionally and personally. As a former radio guy myself, it's nice to talk shop with him. He brings both a new energy to our account representative staff and a stabilizing force. Nice to have him aboard.

Starting this week, we're putting the information from our Faith page into the People section. I don't know about you, but at 37 years old, I had problems reading that church schedule, despite taking up a half a page. Very small type. So we're going to list the service times and contact information in a new, cleaner chart, and put special announcements like church bake sales, youth group happenings, special services and the like in a section called "Faith News" near the schedule. It's a better way to alert you when something different is happening at your church without making you dig the magnifying glass out of the junk drawer. Our pastors are encouraged to keep writing those columns that we get good comments on. Those will also appear in the same area of the People section.

I guess what I have heard in our industry in the last couple of years is true: "change is the only constant." Hopefully these are some good ones that will enhance your enjoyment of the PJ.

This editorial represents the collective voice of the Pioneer Journal's editorial board. Today's editorial was written by Steve Schulz, editor and publisher.