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Readers change the weather

By Andy Alexander

Apparently, you can do something about the weather.

Among the many reader complaints about The Post’s recent newspaper design changes, none have been louder than those reacting to the new weather layout on the back page of the Metro section. In particular, readers have said the national weather map is so small that it’s almost impossible to read without a magnifying glass.

Editors listened, and the map is expected to be returned to its original size beginning in Tuesday’s paper.

There will be no change to The Post’s online weather page, which permits readers to customize for their precise location and instantly check weather around the nation and the world.

“We always knew that changing the weather would be an issue,” said Raju Narisetti, one of The Post’s two managing editors. “We didn’t know how much of it was (whether readers) would get used to it.”

But the “tipping point” came when “we realized that for a significant portion of our readers, to look at this (the smaller weather map) and not be able to instantly see it was a real issue because of its size.”

Older readers, especially, said the city names and graphic indicators for snow, rain or ice were so small that they couldn’t read them.

The smaller weather map became necessary when the Post decided to move a house ad for its PostPoints program from inside Metro to the right hand column on the section’s back page. That forced the weather layout, which used to cover the entire width of the back page, to be squeezed from six columns into five.

To accommodate the restored weather map, the PostPoints ad will be moved back inside the section.

Several readers have complained that the newspaper’s weather page no longer carries the forecast for the day’s pollen count or the US index. These readers rely on the pollen index to gauge their allergy medication. And readers with sensitive skin, like those prone to skin cancer, use the ultraviolet index to determine the strength of sun lotion they should use, or whether they should wear a hat.

Narisetti said he did not believe those indexes would be in the revised weather paper in the paper. But they are available daily online, along with multiple other features for the weather-obsessed.

From the main weather page, online readers can get to the Capital Weather Gang blog, which offers up-to-the-minute weather details for communities in the Washington area, as well as national, regional and daytime satellite weather maps.

By Andy Alexander  | November 6, 2009; 3:54 PM ET
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You should just make the Post a large-print tabloid. Only old people read newspapers, anyway.
But thanks for addressing this important issue, rather than boring old lies, distortions and conflicts of interest.

Posted by: hellslittlestangel1 | November 7, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

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