The print editions of The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun aren’t nearly as big or timely as they were years ago. But if subscribers don’t mind trading a physical paper for a computer or device, they can read well-done pages that look like print pages and only are available as part of their e-editions.
The Extra Extra pages appear in the e-editions of all The McClatchy Company newspapers (except for El Nuevo Herald, its Spanish publication in Miami). The pages began Sept. 4 and, in the last couple of weeks, they have been promoted more in the print editions of The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun and on the N&O’s app.
Extra Extra, which usually is around 20 pages but can be as many as 39, sometimes duplicates stories in the regular part of the print editions since it’s the same for all McClatchy papers. But it includes nicely designed pages spotlighting politics, nation, world, commentary and entertainment stories.
There are themed pages each day. Some fall on days that you’ve traditionally seen them in print editions: home and garden Saturdays, travel and books Sundays, style Mondays, science and technology Tuesdays, food Wednesdays, faith Thursdays and movies Fridays.
Last Friday, there were more Extra Extra pages (31) than print-edition pages in either The N&O (28) or The Herald-Sun (20). They appear in the e-edition after the last page of the print edition. There never are any ads, so far at least, on Extra Extra pages.
Nick Ames, McClatchy’s director of client success, said that the idea came from the Cox Media Group chain. He remembers the size of The Plain Dealer of Cleveland on Sunday he’d read at his grandparents’ house as a kid.
“It was as thick as a bible and you could just get lost reading all day about the Browns or some exotic location in the travel section,” he said. “Obviously, the printed paper has been getting smaller and smaller primarily due to smaller print audiences and you can’t print a paper that size any longer. But that also meant the same was happening to our replica edition, where the audience was steady and in some cases growing on a product that didn’t need to necessarily be constrained by the same expenses as print.
“So, the question was, if we add a dozen pages per day that we never print and just insert into the replica edition, will they be consumed and can we produce those extra pages in a cost-effective way every night? Once we ran the numbers and started to dive into the analytics and usage behavior of the e-edition, the revenue numbers began to make sense and the News Desk took it from there,” Ames said.
McClatchy News Desk West in Sacramento, Calif., produces the pages, which are ready by 1 a.m. ET to be included in McClatchy e-editions. It’s one of three McClatchy desks. There’s one in Kansas City and another in Charlotte, McClatchy News Desk East, which produces the Raleigh and Durham newspapers and nine others.
The Sacramento desk also has produced Sports Extra for a year or so. That includes a mostly complete national agate rundown of standings, box scores, summaries and statistics (usually two or three pages and sometimes four) that don’t make many of McClatchy’s East Coast print editions because of early deadlines.
All the box scores and summaries from the NFL, NBA, MLB, and Top 25 college basketball and football are there, even the last West Coast games, unless there is a 4- or 5-hour late baseball game. For some reason, NHL summaries aren’t included (and sometimes NHL standings don’t make it). You can customize the pages according to your time zone but, recently, some of the starting times for games listed have not been accurate for the Eastern time zone.
Sports Extra is all agate and no stories. So far, no sports stories have been included in Extra Extra.
“We are working on ideas to improve the section and offer readers more,” said Kerry Bean, McClatchy’s publishing manager. “We are considering expanding our sports and features offerings, as well as trying to develop a Spanish-language publication.”
The Chicago Tribune also adds extra pages to its e-edition that don’t appear in the print edition. In addition, each weekday at 4 p.m. CT, it digitally publishes the Evening Edition, which is supposed to be a digest of the day’s breaking news. The latter, today’s answer to the mostly absent PM newspaper, also produces the loud sound of a newspaper page being turned as you go from page to page.
Manuel leaves Baseball America for Twins
John Manuel, the editor-in-chief of Baseball America, is leaving the Durham-based publication at the end of the month to become a scout for the Minnesota Twins. He’ll still live in the area and scout in the Carolinas.
Manuel has been with the publication for 21 years. He joined BA as a writer and eventually became a columnist in 2001 and editor in 2005.
“I’m incredibly excited to start a new adventure, working in the game I love for people I respect tremendously,” he said in a Facebook post. “I will miss just about everything about Baseball America, because as an adult, it’s about the only job I know. But I’m very honored that the Twins would have me.”
He’s also been visible as a commentator on national television coverage of college and minor-league baseball and MLB Network coverage of the draft. He’s also had a presence on radio with appearances on WCMC (99.9 the Fan) during the baseball season and on Capitol Broadcasting Company’s “ACC Baseball Podcast” with Adam Gold.
From Herald-Sun sports to professional scouting
Manuel becomes the latest journalist with ties, however small, to The Herald-Sun sports department to become a scout for a major professional sports team.
Years ago, Manuel covered high school football as a stringer for The Herald-Sun — back in the days when the newspaper actually covered prep football games — while he was a staff writer at BA.
Dave Telep, who was a sports clerk for a few years in the early 2000s at The Herald-Sun, is in his fifth season with the San Antonio Spurs. Telep, who covered recruiting for the ACC Sports Journal and then became a national recruiting analyst for ESPN.com, joined the Spurs as scouting coordinator and was promoted to director of scouting in August 2016.
Keith Drum, who in the late 1970s and early 1980s was the sports editor of the Durham Morning Herald — which merged with the Durham Sun to form The Herald-Sun in 1991 — left the paper to become a scout for the Portland Trail Blazers and later became a regional scout for the Sacramento Kings.