'Times' to Styles-ify the Suburbs

If you're not from the suburbs — and, come on, deep down, though you may not admit it, aren't we all at some level — you may not be familiar with the weekly regional sections of the Times. They're the suburban equivalents of the City section, part of the metropolitan edition of the Sunday paper — as distinct from the national edition — in New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, and Westchester. (Factoid: In Rockland County, a suburban county in New York State but west of the Hudson, you get the New Jersey section.) They're actually pretty interesting, with a nice mix of news and features tailored to each of these major suburban areas. Or, at least, that's what they were. And freelancer for the Long Island section forwards along this news:

MEMO TO FREELANCERS: We have been told that the new incarnation of the section will emphasize lifestyle trends, that much of its content will be shared among the four suburban regions rather than be specific to Long Island, and that a greater proportion than now will be staff-written. Most of the current columns and standing features will not be continued. Beyond that, few specifics are available yet.

Oh, good. What the Times has really been needing lately is more lifestyle features. We can't wait for them. And, more than that, we can't wait for The New Republic to explain them to us.

The complete memo is after the jump.

MEMO TO FREELANCERS:
We have been told that the new incarnation of the section will emphasize lifestyle trends, that much of its content will be shared among the four suburban regions rather than be specific to Long Island, and that a greater proportion than now will be staff-written. Most of the current columns and standing features will not be continued. Beyond that, few specifics are available yet.

Constance Rosenblum, who is now the editor of The Times's City section, will be in charge of putting the new section out. As some of you have already heard, we have been told that she intends to start with a blank slate as far as a roster of freelance contributors is concerned. If you are interested in writing for the section after Memorial Day, it will be necessary to send a resume and clips by mail (physical mail, not e-mail) for her consideration. The address is 229 West 43rd Street, N.Y. 10036. We are told that it may be a while before you hear back from her.

The rest of the editing staff for the new section has not been named yet, nor has the paper decided what the next assignments will be for the current editors of the Long Island Weekly.

In the meantime, of course, we will continue to put the current section out each week through May 28, and with your help, finish its 30-year run on a high note.

The New York Times to Redesign Its Connecticut, Long Island, New Jersey and Westchester Regional Weeklies [NYTCo]