McLEAN, Va. — Its face-lift time for the newspaper known for its pie charts.
USA Today, with the nations second-highest circulation and a colorful omnipresence on airport newsstands and outside the doors of hotel rooms, is showing off its new look Friday. And the makeover for the paper, which is based just outside the Washington beltway, comes straight from Silicon Valley.
Its weather map is sleeker. Its television listings feature conventional television programs while also providing descriptions of related highlights online. Its Your Say pages include reader comments from Twitter and Facebook. And as the newspaper starts to look more like a website, its new website, which is being unveiled this weekend, reads more like an iPad, with scrolling from page to page, instead of clicking.
We are really trying to reinvent a news business, Larry Kramer, the papers president and publisher, said as he sat in a conference room at its glassy high-tech suburban headquarters, reminiscent of the offices where James Bond receives his orders from Q. We are trying to think of USA Today not as a newspaper but as a news company.
The broader makeover is part of an effort by USA Todays parent company, Gannett, to blend the resources of all of its television and newspaper assets. The company owns 82 newspapers in the United States, including USA Today, as well as 23 broadcast television stations and some digital media properties. The company also is planning to rebuild its newsroom to create a single national news desk to house staff members from its newspapers and television stations.
Kramer, who joined USA Today from Market Watch in May, said starting this fall, Gannetts newspapers and television stations would share more content on breaking news stories, with a greater blending of video and print on the website.