GoTriCities moving to daily format for more up-to-date information

Jessica Fischer • Feb 10, 2010 at 12:00 AM

GoTriCities is going in a new direction.

Beginning today, the Times-News is replacing its weekly entertainment magazine with a six-day-a-week entertainment page in the newspaper, giving readers an even more up-to-date source for information on movies, music and the arts.

The change coincides with the launch of the newly redesigned GoTriCities Web site, a collaborative effort between the Times-News and its sister newspaper, the Johnson City Press.

“We’re making the change because we believe that it’s going to have additional benefits by putting this (content) in the daily paper on a daily basis as opposed to having everything collapsed into one section,” said Times-News Publisher Keith Wilson. “The Web site really allows us to target Kingsport events and Kingsport regional events better, and Johnson City to target Johnson City events better, but simultaneously offering a very complete look at the Tri-Cities through the Web site at www.gotricities.com. It also allows us to be more timely with the events, as opposed to waiting a week.

“We have tried to ensure that all the content is still available throughout the week and that readers aren’t going to suffer a loss of content. It’s going to be available to them through both the Web site and the daily listings.”

In the print edition, Lane Blevins’ weekly movie review along with a movie capsule and “best bets” for the weekend can now be found on Thursdays; previews of upcoming concerts and other music-related events will appear on Fridays and Tuesdays; On Sunday, the entertainment page will be devoted to the classical arts, including local ballets, symphonies and art exhibits; Monday’s page will feature leisure events, from outdoor activities to festivals; while features on plays and other theatrical events will run each Wednesday.

Jeff Bobo’s racing-related blog, “Gear-Head Blues,” can now be found on the Times-News Web site, while Christan Thomas’ Go-to Gal column and the wrestling columns written by Matthew Lane and The Mayor of Parts Unknown are available online at www.gotricities.com.

On the Web site, visitors will find an updated version of The Buzz music forum along with a directory of area bands, music and movie listings, videos, and a calendar of events that’s updated daily.

Through GoTriCities’ new Karma feature, readers can create an account and share their events and opinions on the area’s best bands, restaurants, movies and more to earn points, giving them the chance to win weekly prizes.

Times Digital Group developers also have created a GoTriCities iPhone application, which Wilson said they believe is the first iPhone application written specifically for the Tri-Cities market. The app, compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch, can be downloaded for free from iTunes.

“I think they’re going to find if they explore the new Web site that there is a real depth and breadth to this that they haven’t seen before,” Wilson said. “When we interviewed people, we had a lot of them tell us they really wanted one place to go to learn about things to do, what’s going on in the region, and we have tried to the best of our ability to provide that through GoTriCities.

“Our interviews with local people have really been a part of how we’ve redesigned this and what we’ve done, and we hope that they find it to their liking.”

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