Still time to have your say on new-look TV section | NevadaAppeal.com

Still time to have your say on new-look TV section

by Barry Ginter

There was a period of time not long ago when I could have answered my office phone with the words “TV section complaint department” and the majority of callers would have known right off that they dialed the right number.

The Appeal made some changes in recent months to our TV section, which resulted in fewer pages and a different look. That led to plenty of calls from people who were very attached to the original version.

Based on those calls, more pages were added back to the TV section, specifically to include daytime listings and a few other features.

Another change is that the TV section is now being inserted into every Sunday edition in the Nevada Appeal delivery area. Part of the original change was to include the TV section with editions delivered to subscribers and in those editions sold on racks in Carson City. The plan figured readers in outlying areas would be able to purchase Sunday-only subscriptions, which is seemingly more convenient anyway.

There were business reasons for all of the changes, of course, but it became apparent early on that some of this was not going over well with readers. Being useful to our readers is important, which prompted the new changes.

We’ve learned some things from the process, to be honest. For example:

• If you decide to change a product, make sure its contents are accurate. We don’t write the actual listings here at the Appeal. Rather, we purchase them and then print them on our press. For the first few weeks of the new section, the company that supplies them sent us program times that were just plain wrong. And so you the reader had in your hands not only a TV section vastly different from the one you’d been used to, but one that was of no help at all in finding your favorite programs.

We deserved every angry call we got.

• Secondly, a reminder that it’s good to listen to our customers all the time. That’s always been a priority at the Appeal, and something we did even in this process. But there’s no such thing as listening too much.

Following the improvements made to the TV section in recent weeks, we’ve gotten several calls from people who like it very much. But other callers are still frustrated with the format.

That’s why I’m encouraging you to send us your comments on things that you like or dislike about the TV section as it exists now. If there are further changes, rest assured they’ll be based on what we hear from you.

If you have specific comments (the more specific the better), we’d like to get them in writing. You can either e-mail them to tvguide@nevadaappeal.com, or send them to us at Nevada Appeal Editor, 580 Mallory Way, Carson City, NV 89701.

•••

Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes it’s hard not to chuckle at the stream of press releases that comes from politicians.

This week, for example, one came from the office of Sen. Harry Reid saying the federal marriage amendment was the wrong priority for the Senate. That time would be better spent addressing the war in Iraq, stopping terrorism, controlling gas prices, making college more affordable, ensuring retirement security, supporting stem cell research, and making our nation energy independent, the press release said. Plus, Nevada already has a law saying marriage is between a man and a woman.

That’s good stuff … I’m all for having our elected officials spending their time on the most pressing issues.

That’s why a subsequent press release about his proposal to change all official Senate cars to hybrid or flexible-fuel cars seemed to strike a sour note. Hey, I thought you were supposed to be spending your time on the war, terrorism, etc. You know, important stuff.

The response from Reid doubtlessly would be that giving the Senate more fuel-efficient cars would set an example for the nations and might hasten our way toward energy independence. It wouldn’t really save any money, but it would be a symbol at the federal level.

In other words, sort of the same principle as the marriage amendment.

•••

Thus far, I’ve had visits from pseudo-celebrity candidates Jack Carter and Danny Tarkanian, and I’m wondering who’s next. Does Elizabeth Taylor have any offspring running for elected office in Nevada?

Carter, of course the son of the former president, is running for Senate against incumbent John Ensign. Tarkanian, the son of former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian and a former basketball all-American, is running for secretary of state. A Las Vegas resident, he is campaigning in the area with his wife, Amy.

He stopped in on Thursday wearing a campaign T-shirt and sneakers, ready to hit the streets going door-to-door. If you’re a registered Republican, there’s a chance he or his wife knocked on your door.

Tarkanian, a Republican, faces off against Brian Scroggins, also of Las Vegas, in the Aug. 15 primary. Watch for much more coverage as the day draws near.

• Barry Ginter is the editor of the Appeal. Contact him at bginter@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1221.