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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, March 5

Gapers Block

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whitney / September 29, 2008 10:12 AM

i really don't like it. the trib is turning into the redeye. are they trying to make it more accessible and more 'reader friendly'? there are too many fonts and the design layout is terrible. the articles have also suffered...appearing condensed and less often with a low article/ad ratio. if anything it makes me want to go grab my nyt first.

Brad / September 29, 2008 10:15 AM

"Nobody reads this anymore anyway, lets just fill it with pictures! We won't have to pay as many reporters..." - Chicago Tribune Editorial Board

Its a bit of a travesty to turn a newspaper into a magazine but I can't say I'd be entirely disssapointed if the redeye was the only paper left in print in Chicago...

Jasmine / September 29, 2008 10:19 AM

It looks like the love child of Red Eye and USA Today.

Don Kosin / September 29, 2008 12:34 PM

As a lifelong Chicagoan who has lived the last 35 years in D.C. I have to say this is one of the WORST days of my life!!! I was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago and all it did was RAIN, but this is even worse!!! I would rather they went back to the old Chicago Daily News format because what was wrong with THAT?!?! NOTHING! THATS WHAT!

I will still buy the Tribune but only when I am in town! I have never set foot in the RED EYE and I NEVER WILL!

Chris / September 29, 2008 12:56 PM

A dark day for long-time Tribune readers. Why, oh why does every new bumpkin that rolls into Chicago assume we all crave the shiney-happy-people version of everything? Like the reformatting the Cedar Rapids Gazette will work exactly the same in Chicago. These rubes have destroyed a bedrock of Chicago and made it look like USA Today 'McNews'. Are well all drooling idiots that need pictures and graphs to explain every story? Pure garbage ... thanks for destroying another Chicago institution.

Jill / September 29, 2008 1:38 PM

I'm surprised to say that I don't mind it as much as I thought it would. Yes, it's a little McPaper-y and will look so dated really soon, but there were enough long stories (and also a lack of those crap stories that are written like PowerPoint slides) today to make me satisfied that they're at least attempting to be a real paper.

I don't mind that Metro/Front/Business are combined. I like the puzzles on the bottom half of the page. Overall, I think it could've been worse.

Mucky Fingers / September 29, 2008 2:13 PM

Necessity is the mother of invention. In all likelihood, the Tribune had to shake things up to compete with the vastly superior news sources available on the Internet. I'm sure there are several Tribune employees hoping this re-design earns a spike in readership. It's still a eyeful better than the Sun-Times, which is presently reaching out to readers with gigantic, front-page lottery advertisements.

I understand & agree. However, the bedrocks of Chicago were already destroyed when they installed lights in Wrigley Field, demolished Maxwell Street, closed Lounge Ax, forced the homeless away from lower Wacker Drive, and turned Carson Pirie Scott into Macy's. The Tribune going all Red-Eye is just another log in the Generation Y(uppie) fire.

annie / September 29, 2008 2:27 PM

I only read it on-line b/c the "paper" is a waste of paper and we all know that Chicago doesn't's a farce.
@ Mucky, that was Marshall Field's

Gaigen / September 29, 2008 3:10 PM

I only read it on-line b/c the "paper" is a waste of paper and we all know that Chicago doesn't's a farce.

And computers and the machinations they use to generate the electricity needed to run those computers is environmentally better?

You can recycle newspaper far better and easier than you can recycle that computer you're using right now to read this.

Sara / September 29, 2008 3:26 PM

When I picked it up this morning, I felt overloaded by all the pieces on the page.

I was particularly struck by the Breaking News box, which said, "This story has been updated more than 10 times already at"

I think that little box sums it up for me... I will be visiting the website more now than ever.

annie / September 29, 2008 4:09 PM

@ Gaigen. I agree with your statement, but Chicago does not recycle, so I don't know how I would recycle a paper. Besides, I have to work on my computer all day, why buy and waste a paper when I have no choice but to use this giant waste of electricity all day?

Gaigen / September 29, 2008 4:20 PM

You don't really have to worry about recycling a newspaper. The paper is of course biodegradable and most ink now is soy or vegetable based so it won't hurt the environment. As worst paper is unsightly when it's blowing around, but it returns to the earth far faster than a computer. and yeah, I know you have to have a computer (hey, I'm on one right now!), but if you're going to call one for being a waste, don't pick the newspaper. But me personally, I will always buy newspapers. No popups and if I don't want to be bothered with an ad, I just turn the page. And if the power goes out I can still read it.

Gaigen / September 29, 2008 4:22 PM

Oh, and if you still want to read a paper and recycle, just save them up until the end of the week and take them to a recycling place nearby. Or just wait until you pass one of those recycling "paper only" garbage cans.

Can you tell I used to work for a newspaper?

Brian / September 29, 2008 5:03 PM

I'm 25 and have had the Chicago Tribune available to me daily since I can remember. My parents subscribed when I was a kid and when I left for college the first thing I did was to get my own subscription. Unfortunately, because of the decline in quality over the past few years and now this most recent change I've decided to cancel my subscription. It saddens me, but I feel like it is the only way to actually show Tribune Corp that I've finally had enough.

What bothers me even more is that I've since subscribed to the NY Times and that I'm now contemplating ...dare I say.. get a subscription to the Sun-Times for my Chicago news. I feel like I'm somehow turning my back on Chicago by getting my news from another city, especially New York. It can't stand that a first rate city like Chicago doesn't have a first rate news paper to go with it.

I hope more people join me in canceling their subscriptions to show that their core readers don't appreciate these most recent changes. However, I'm not very hopeful that they'll actually listen.

Noreen Sutterfield / September 29, 2008 5:16 PM

Has John Kass had some work done, too?

Carlotta / September 29, 2008 8:11 PM

They're using a lot of large fonts -- great for old people (aka dinosaurs) like me who still read the paper, LOL.

But to quote another old codger, Clara Peller, "Where's the beef?" Note that I referred to the Trib as a paper, not a newspaper, as there is barely any news left in it.

Celeste / September 30, 2008 1:56 AM

I'm doing the same thing Brian is: withdrawing my subscription dollars from the Tribune and depositing them with the New York Times and our local Sun-Times. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Val / September 30, 2008 8:26 AM

Don't you mean, the second Red Eye?

Hal / September 30, 2008 9:34 AM

"They're using a lot of large fonts -- great for old people (aka dinosaurs) like me who still read the paper, LOL."

Not on the comics pages. They shrank those so small they hurt my eyes now. And, on top of that, they kept "Raising Hector," possibly the worst comic strip ever published at every level.

Stephen / September 30, 2008 10:12 AM

"Brian" nailed it on the head perfectly. I'm 24, and among the giant minority of persons my age who read newspapers daily. This horrendous redesign justifies yet again my decision last year to suspend my Trib subscription. I now read the NY Times every day for quality, no-nonsense reporting, and a writing style that doesn't assume I have no more than a sixth-grade reading acumen. As one who also tried the Sun-Times, I won't grant that it's a "better" paper than the Trib -- it's far less comprehensive -- it may well be better for local coverage, columnists, etc. ... and for that reason it may be worth picking up again, especially since you can get through it in about 15 minutes. :-)

Marshall / September 30, 2008 10:57 AM

Since moving to Chicago four years ago, I have bought a Tribune daily whenever I'm in town. While disagreeing with the editorial philosophy of the paper, I nonetheless have considered it to be one of the best remaining dailies based on the 'meat' of its' offerings. No more. The new paper is garbage, and deserves the continued circulation decline it is sure to experience. My sole daily print source will be the NYT, supplemented by the Washington Post Weekly Edition, and for local stuff I'll head to the web.

Rudy / September 30, 2008 1:13 PM

With so many people flocking to the NYT, it's amazing their circulation numbers aren't better. I think saying you read the NYT is more fashionable (and fun) than actually doing it.

Allan / September 30, 2008 1:24 PM

If you ask me it looks like the Redeye butt fucked USA today and had a turd baby who grew up and married People magazine and had a regular baby who never learned to read above a 5th grade level but has a real fondness for picture books.

V / September 30, 2008 4:30 PM

I'll say that so far this year I've seen an improvement in the quality of stories in the paper. I said that to a few people this summer. They're better written then they've been since the start of the Millennium. Espically the political aspects. As a reader I feel I get a very honest disection of the personalities that make up our city and country.

Some of the stories have shortened up, but important facts are there and the analysis is smart, and ocassionally witty. I've definitally laughed at some of the language that makes it into the middle or the end of a report (and maybe should qualify more as opinion then analysis). Additionally, I've liked the choices that have been made as to what stories get covered.

I'm willing to give the Chicago Tribune at least untill the end of the year before I let the visual changes sway me.

Richard / October 1, 2008 9:02 PM

Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken,Tribune recedes into the darkness.

Craig / October 13, 2008 4:10 PM

I'm very saddened that there is not a single Chicago newspaper worth subscribing to. I will be canceling my Trib subscription tonight. I grew up with the Trib and have subscribed since I moved from my parents' home -- a total of almost half a century. It's no longer a serious newspaper. The tripe that is printed on pages 2 and 3 is beneath the dignity of a major newspaper. It's the London Sun come to Chicago, minus the T&A. I'd consider buying a Kindle if it meant I could receive a quality newspaper, but as a conservative thinker, I can think of no quality newspaper that is journalistically honest, let alone conservative.

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