YDR Insider

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Insider’s look at the 2012 GameTimePA high school football tab

This huge chart helps Assistant Sports Editor Lyzz Jones keep track of what has and has not been completed for GameTimePA’s 2012 high school football special section, which will be published on Aug. 30.

It’s “Tab Week” here at the York Daily Record/Sunday News newsroom, which means long hours for the marvelously talented folks who are working to put together GameTimePA’s 2012 high school football preview section, a 64-page look at 25 local high school teams that will be published in the York Daily Record and The (Hanover) Evening Sun on Thursday, Aug. 30.

Assistant Sports Editor Lyzz Jones is the maestro of this huge production. Her fabulous work as the creative and organizational leader of the football section are what make it such a stellar product for readers. She and sports copy editor Sherry Coons have been leading the charge throughout this week, designing the pages and racing to meet a weekend deadline. (The section has to be sent to our composing room by Sunday and will run off the presses on Monday morning, days in advance of its official publication. So it’s a race against the clock.)

Last night, though she barely has time to breath, sleep or see her kids, Lyzz took a few moments to tweet out some interesting behind-the-scenes numbers regarding this special section.

  • 7 photogs … 8 writers … 20 other editors/visuals/graphic/ad-type people
  • 25 paper dolls created and put together by [graphic artist] @blackcat911 and [Visual Editor] @bradjennings9
  • 33 headlines placed on Page 2 alone ….
  • 34 videos uploaded in the span of 2.5 weeks … 23 QR codes created
  • 64 folios edited and changed ….
  • 152 high school football games typed in, checked, double checked and checked again….
  • 200 items to put on the web ….
  • And my favorite: 25 team pages x 20 elements per page = 500 elements to paginate and not lose in the [computer] system.

It’s an awesome undertaking, all geared toward creating an awesome product that will serve our readers in southcentral Pennsylvania throughout the fall football season.

Look for the GameTimePA football section next Thursday!

Until then, follow Lyzz for live updates on Twitter!

As one final way of looking at what we do for the tab, here’s an excerpt from a letter that I recently composed when we entered last year’s football tab into a statewide contest:

Dear judges,

The production of the Daily Record/Sunday News’ annual high school football special section is one of the most Herculean efforts of the year for our sports department.

The 64-page section, which was published in September 2011 under the superb editorial leadership of Lyzz Jones, required the coordinated efforts of six copy editors, eight reporters, eight photographers and a graphics artist.

The result was an in-depth look at 25 high school football programs in southcentral Pennsylvania. Each football program received a full tabloid page that included a season preview, a short player interview, a schedule, previous results, a graphic snapshot of the program’s recent level of success and more. All of the team preview pages were paired, side-by-side, with a page of local advertisers from that school district.

And, after all that, there was still space for human-interest features and other handy content (week-by-week schedules, radio listings, historical statistics) for readers who wanted the tab to be one-stop-shopping for the entire football season.

As newspapers have downsized in the past decade, our high school football tab has continued to grow in page count. Its popularity with our readership and our local advertisers – in response to a product that we put hundreds of hours into – has fueled that growth.