Today is the end of an era. This is the last broadsheet Hawke's Bay Today daily newspaper you will read.
It is a milestone that needs to be acknowledged. The broadsheet size has served the community well, but it is time for change.
On Monday our new, easy-to-read compact paper makes its debut and we are sure you will love it. A lot of work has gone into it and it looks good.
We did another test print run last night and now we are putting the finishing touches to a product we will be proud to present to you on Monday.
Monday is going to be a bumper paper, with 44 pages of local news, sport and opinion for you to enjoy. We have a new special Monday sports liftout with a dedicated school sports page.
Monday's sport liftout is the first of our daily specialist sections. Our Tuesday business liftout will also include a Money section, where you can read Kiwisaver advice from our local expert Shelley Hanna and get other tips on how to invest your money.
We also have a new business columnist who is bound to get people talking.
On a Wednesday you will be able to read a Lifestyle and Arts section, where we will continue to give you full coverage of the local arts scene. Heartland will remain on a Thursday and our leisure magazine, Entertainment Extra, will make way for a new magazine, Vibe, which will still carry a seven-day television listing.
Friday's paper will have two special liftout sections. We have moved Outdoors from Saturday and combined it with our gardening section, while the other new section is a racing form guide.
Some of you have told us we could do more for the punters and we have listened. Racing fans, get your copy of Friday's Hawke's Bay Today from next week for a four-page form guide.
We have realised readers want consistency. They want to be able to pick up the paper and know where everything is. For this reason, we are going to keep your favourite regulars - the crossword pages, the weather map and television guide - in one place, on the back of each day's special liftout section. For the first few weeks we will also have a section explaining where everything is. We want you to enjoy your read and not battle to find things.
This is just the start of it. There is so much more for you to read. Our main focus will always be local. We are proud of that because that is what you have told us you want to read. We are the only newspaper that covers Hawke's Bay to the extent we do. We plan to give you even more local news.
One area I am very excited about is our opinion section. Each day we will have three pages of opinion and analysis. You will still be able to read your favourite columnists, Mark Story on a Monday, Roger Moroney on a Tuesday, Wyn Drabble on a Thursday and Bruce Bisset on a Friday, but we have added an exciting young voice to the mix on a Wednesday. Be sure to get a copy of next Wednesday's paper to read this new columnist's views on social, political and community issues.
We also plan to have a spot each day for community and business leaders, organisations and interest groups to put their point across. We are calling it Talking Point and it will replace our current forum, Monday and Wednesday Write-in. There will still be a letters' section and the popular Text the editor will remain.
Our third opinion page will be a readers' page and it will be interactive with the paper's website, www.hbtoday.co.nz
One of the biggest changes to the newspaper will be the masthead. We showed it to you last week and received positive feedback. The colours and style are professional and modern, but there is enough of the old look for you to still recognise it as your favourite newspaper, Hawke's Bay Today.
The front page is also going to look quite different, but just because we are moving to the smaller size, it does not mean we are going tabloid. We will continue to cover a wide range of stories that are relevant to you.
So be sure to get your copy of Monday's Hawke's Bay Today. It may be smaller, but it will be a bigger read. Let us know what you think of the changes. Email me at email@example.com