Starting next week, the Belgrade News will embark on another new endeavor handed down from above.

There’s something called the Universal Design Desk in our company. Along with sounding comic bookish, it is a group of designers that lay out newspapers in our company. Layout is what you are looking at right now when you hold the paper. The way it looks, or its design, is done, or laid out, by Dan Chesnet and me. I do the A section and Dan does the B section.

Well, no more. Someone else will be designing our paper. I haven’t really heard a reason as to why we need this assistance. Other lager papers use the design desk and sack anyone who used to lay out the paper. It’s what corporations call “cost saving measures.” 

Apparently, the Belgrade News is the last holdout in the Western Division of our company. I guess the reason can be read as “everyone else is doing it,” which flies in the face of many a lecture from my childhood. “If everyone else jumped off a cliff...”

What does it mean to readers? Probably nothing. The paper will probably look different. But what it means for advertisers is more noticeable. We will lose our ability to take late ads. Gone are the days when you could call George and ask to get something in despite missing the deadline. We try to accommodate all of those requests. This new system will not allow us to continue that tradition.

There is one more alteration. I am going to leave my post as editor of the Belgrade News. I am going to switch jobs and work on the design desk. I like design, and I truly enjoy laying out the paper. When this change came about, I thought it would be a good time to change with it.

I am not certain when this will happen. I was given the mandate to “successfully oversee a smooth transition” for this move. It could be two weeks or one month.

This has been a meaningful job and a memorable experience. It’s just time for a change. I started on the paper in January 2007 as a reporter and became the reluctant editor in January 2012.

I am continually humbled by the support our paper receives from the community through readers and advertisers. It is a blessing and a source of immense gratitude. I thank everyone for providing that feeling.

In life, change is the only constant, and, in this case, a little change will be good for the paper. The one thing that won’t change is our helpful and approachable staff. They are all top notch, and I will miss working alongside them.

I thank you all for the experience. Being a newspaperman was a lifelong dream and all of you made it worthwhile. I will miss it, but change isn’t always a bad thing.