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UPDATE: Star to keep business columnists in revamp

June 6, 2007
Indianapolis Star managers informed newsroom staff Monday that the paper's business section no longer will be a stand-alone section beginning in late June.

Staffers were told the section will become part of the Metro & State section. It is unclear whether the business section will have its own pages within Metro & State or some stories will be interspersed throughout.

Editor Dennis Ryerson said today that details of the changes are being ironed out. Ryerson said the new section has not yet been named, but it has been determined that business columnists John Ketzenberger and Daniel Lee will be rotated with Metro & State columnists including Matthew Tully on the Metro & State front.

Ryerson added that business staffing will not be reduced and that the new metro and business section will be larger than the existing Metro & State section.

Abe Aamidor, a 20-year veteran of the Star and defunct Indianapolis News, and vice president of Newspaper Guild Local 70, said, "What's happening to the metro and business section is part of a trend locally and nationally. This is clearly a cost-saving measure."

Ryerson stopped short of calling the change a cost-saving move, saying the operation had to be rethought because the Star is focusing more resources on local news, its community newspapers, magazines and other niche Web publications.

"This [newspaper] business is changing, and we have to use our resources more efficiently," Ryerson said. "We have to make some changes in what we do, or we will no longer exist."

Aamidor said the union doesn't have an official position on the change. Yet he called the decision a "risky move," because the business-news consumer is a "more sophisticated" reader who will notice the difference in presentation.
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