The Courier News is rolling out a new look

Kevin Slimp works on pages with The Courier News’ Crystal Huskey. (photo:Tony Cox )
With the help of news and design guru Kevin Slimp, The Courier News has completely revamped the look of the paper.

It’s an exciting day.

The goal is simple: make it easier to read.

“When I arrived here in May,” said publisher Tony Cox, “the one thing I’ve emphasized to everyone is that we want to be the absolute best newspaper for this community. Sometimes, in order to achieve that, you have to reinvent yourself.”

The new look is intended to be more modern, more appealing and more informational. Since May, Cox and editor Ken Leinart have already made changes: they’ve amped up social media and community presence and hope to launch a number of new projects in 2019.

The Courier brought in internationally recognized newspaper consultant Kevin Slimp — known in the industry as The News Guru — to work with the staff on the redesign.

“With the reduction in local news coverage by other media sources, it’s inspiring to see community papers like The Courier News lead the charge and pick up the slack so that local readers have a reliable news source,” said Slimp, who happens to live in Knoxville. “When I was approached about the opportunity to work with a newspaper in my area, I jumped at the chance.”

Slimp also invited Ed Henninger, who has redesigned hundreds of newspapers around the world to assist in the effort.

“It’s inspiring to work with newspapers like The Courier News whose mission is to bring relevant news to local readers,” said Henninger. “I can’t wait to hear from my new friends in Clinton about the reaction to the redesign.”

The paper recently hired two new reporters — Conner McCarty, sports reporter, and Crystal Huskey, general assignment reporter — to add to the editorial content.

“Working with the staff at the Clinton paper has been a real pleasure,” Slimp said. “Their commitment to the local community is something Clinton can be proud of.”

The redesign process took about two months. When the crew learned that the printer in Jefferson City was going to change the page size in December instead of in January, they kicked it into overdrive.

Longtime editor Ken Leinart is excited.

“It’s a new look and a new chapter in our history,” he said. “We’re looking forward to hearing what people are going to say about it. I hate that we’re going to a smaller web spread, but that’s the way things are going now.”

Everything’s different, from the banner to the fonts. Cox hopes to put together a focus group within the next few weeks in order to receive input from readers on what works, what doesn’t, and what you would like to see more of.

“We want to being more accessible,” said Cox. “We’re trying really hard to be more active and involved in our community.”

years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.