If you hold this month's printed issue of THE BEE, you'll see it's now the same size as the Tribune

THE BEE's websites will look about the same this month. No surprise there.

But, the print version will look a bit different – and if you have seen it, you are already aware of it.

After decades of being a "tabloid size" newspaper – 16 inches tall – Community Newspapers and Pamplin Media, our ownership, has promoted us to being a "broadsheet" newspaper.

You'd think that means the newspaper would be wider. Not so. It is still a little less than a foot broad, just as it was before. The difference comes in the height of the pages: The print surface is now 21.5 inches tall, and THE BEE will now be the same physical size as our sister area-wide newspaper, the Portland Tribune, and the 22 other Oregon newspapers in our locally-owned group.

Going to this new size, with our newly upgraded press in Gresham, will mean better reproduction in the print process, but it also means that the color pages are in different places than they were before, and that means that your editor had to find a way to revamp the way we present our Inner Southeast stories and features, and where in the paper they appear. The middle of the paper used to be our color feature section; now the middle is largely black and white, and the color is expanded at the beginning and end.

Since we have no color on our editorial page, that page will be moving further into the paper, and the extra room on that page allows us to consolidate reader "letters to the editor" on the same page, rather than start it on page 2. We got letters again this month, but they are just in a different place. And that's true for everything else you are used to reading in THE BEE: Look and ye shall find.

There are fewer pages in the paper now, but they are bigger pages, and you are still getting all the same content you would have if we were still printing in tabloid size. It is significant, we think, that in an era when many newspapers are downsizing, THE BEE and all of our sister Oregon newspapers are expanding. It appears that our style of local journalism may be pointing the way to a bright future for any newspapers that choose to embrace it.

One more thing is obvious this month, and you might be wondering if this is also something you are going to see regularly: The "wraparound" four-page informational section by Advantis Credit Union, to mark its return to serve its many longtime members in Southeast, at their new full-service office on Woodstock Boulevard. We are welcoming this move ourselves – we've been a member for a couple of decades, and were sorry when MAX construction closed and demolished their former office on S.E. 17th in Brooklyn, across from the PGE headquarters building. Now we don't have to drive up to Belmont Street to see an Advantis teller once again. This elaborate Advantis section is also a bit of a distinction for THE BEE, in a way, since you probably have only seen this done before occasionally in the Oregonian and the Tribune. But, no, this is not something you are likely to see very often in THE BEE. This is a very special, but rather expensive, type of advertising – valuable mainly for a major announcement like this! It's just a coincidence that it happened in the first "broadsheet" issue of THE BEE, and our next issue, in March, will be the first in which the new size of THE BEE will be clearly apparent. Enough about us; we just thought you deserved an explanation for the very different looking issue of THE BEE you may be holding in your hands right now.

We are proud that we are the most-read of any newspaper or magazine in Inner Southeast Portland, with an estimated 45,000 readers every month – but that's only because we bring you more solid news about the place you live in than any other medium, and that's ALL we do. If it's not about here, it's not in our paper.

And we also want to salute our contributors, who are responsible for that: David F. Ashton, Rita A. Leonard (who has been with THE BEE longer than anybody), Elizabeth Ussher Groff, Becky Luening, and our historians Eileen G. Fitzsimons and Dana Beck.

They'll still be there every month with stories just for you, in our new taller-than-ever pages!

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