KORRIE WENZEL: You’ll see a few changes in this morning’s Herald

Few topics dominate conversation like the weather. It's always been that way. Wander through any coffee shop, auto dealership or club meeting in town and be prepared to discuss with rigor the latest development in this region's love-hate relation...

Korrie Wenzel
Korrie Wenzel

Few topics dominate conversation like the weather. It’s always been that way.

Wander through any coffee shop, auto dealership or club meeting in town and be prepared to discuss with rigor the latest development in this region’s love-hate relationship with our fickle lady friend, Mother Nature.

And few things endear readers to a newspaper more than items about local people. Again, always been that way.

Today, the Herald bolsters its approach to both of those concerns with a new look on two of our most prominent pages: A2 and A3.

Keep in mind that these are tweaks that should add to the readability of the Herald, which I always have considered a great newspaper. But change is inevitable, and newspapers should improve with age, like whiskey, cheese and even people themselves.


Our weather package has been moved to Page A2, and now will be presented in full color. A few other odds and ends are appearing on the page as well, including an enhanced wind forecast that should prove useful.

And Page A2 also will feature our Weather Kid segment, which is a favorite of the new publisher. The Weather Kids will rotate weekly, and our goal is to provide as many different local children in the segment as possible. The hope is that their grinning faces will temper our disdain for the sometimes ugly meteorological trends we tend to endure here on the northern plains.

Moving the weather package to Page A2 means we’ve opened up Page A3 as a news page. That will create one more place for local photos, and we’ll definitely use it.

Too, we’ll heap more local news onto the page to increase prominence of news about the Red River Valley. In fact, the name of the page is “Valley,” and it will be used for news items and photos from throughout the region, starting here in Grand Forks and emanating outward.

Our challenge is to use this new Page A3 as expanded news hole for local happenings.

The Herald always has been a local newspaper, thanks to its past and current staff and especially to recently retired Publisher Mike Jacobs, who absolutely and unequivocally loves Grand Forks, the Red River Valley and North Dakota in general.

He set a high standard here, and we’re going to work hard to maintain it.

The key for those who remain at the Herald is to constantly push to ensure local coverage remains at the forefront. That means plenty of local news and an abundance of local faces, voices and opinions.


Meanwhile, this change has created a useful side effect for advertisers, in the form of a great spot to tout their services. The unique location - boldly hanging on the left side of Page A2 - should create opportunities for some dramatic advertising.

We’re happy with that, since terrific ads increase the readability of a newspaper. It’s all part of the great puzzle.

And how often can an advertiser be sure that a reader’s thumb will literally rest on their ad for several minutes, as a reader checks the enhanced weather package, smiles at the Weather Kid and then reads our expanded coverage of the Red River Valley on Page A3?

Well, at least that’s the sales pitch.

Ahh, change. It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary nonetheless. Newspapers need to constantly consider tweaks and - especially nowadays - always should be striving to be their very best.

Opinion by Korrie Wenzel
Korrie Wenzel has been publisher of the Grand Forks Herald and Prairie Business Magazine since 2014.

Over time, he has been a board member of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., Junior Achievement, the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, United Way, Empire Arts Center, Cornerstones Career Learning Center and Crimestoppers.

As publisher, Wenzel oversees news, advertising and business operations at the Herald, as well as the newspaper's opinion content.

In the past, Wenzel was sports editor for 14 years at The Daily Republic of Mitchell, S.D., before becoming editor and, eventually, publisher.

Wenzel can be reached at 701-780-1103.
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