Observer goes BIG, makes move to broadsheet

While some newspapers across the country are shrinking — either by personnel, circulation, publication frequency or all-of-the-above — we are doing quite the opposite.

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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When you’re the dad of a 13-year-old boy, you learn — or, at least, try to learn — to adapt.

You discover the phrase, “It seemed like just yesterday,” can be taken quite literally. In an instant, your Little Buddy — the one you used to cuddle, whose boo-boos you used to kiss — is nearly as tall as his mom.

And when you take him shopping for new shoes, suddenly, his feet are too big for the boys section. Now, he’s looking for kicks in the men’s section. And truth be told — we had waited too long. Our poor son’s toes were scrunched all the way to the edge of his old shoes.

Like most, I’m not a fan of change. Our son’s beeline toward adulthood is coming too fast, too furious for my liking. But I also know I can’t keep him in his boys shoes forever. His toes need to stretch out, find their footing, discover their path.

And indeed, this newspaper you hold is like my son’s feet.

Although much of our recent innovation and growth has been in digital (we added a new staff writer specifically for social media and breaking news on, as well as launched our West Orange On the Go podcast), today, we’re thrilled to introduce you to our new, bigger (broadsheet!) print edition. While some newspapers across the country are shrinking — either by personnel, circulation, publication frequency or all-of-the-above — we are doing quite the opposite.

And quite frankly, it’s long overdue. As our communities have exploded (I’m looking at you, Horizon West), it has become increasingly more difficult to scrunch everything into our pages each week.

Now, with more space on each page, we can stretch out our toes. For our journalists, the change gives us more room for longer stories, more and larger photos, and bolder, more innovative design. Our advertising partners enjoy bigger presence and more room in which to tell their stories. 

And you, our beloved reader, get more of what you’ve come to expect from us: original, researched and trustworthy hyperlocal coverage all focused on you, your neighbors and your neighborhood.

This first edition of our new broadsheet size is the product of months of behind-the-scenes work, and we hope you enjoy the end result.

In the months to come, we will continue to roll out several additions to our newspapers. We have several exciting new features to implement, and we cannot wait to share those with you, too.

As we steamroll to the end of 2021 (which, let’s be honest, felt so much like an extension of 2020 that we should have called it 2020-too), I want to thank each and every one of you for putting your trust into the Observer. Like you, we have seen plenty of terrible examples of irresponsible, biased and inaccurate reporting in the last few years, and we know that can and does have a residual effect. However, we remain dedicated to doing our jobs with honor, integrity and accuracy, so we can fulfill our mission: to inspire our communities with extraordinary local content and to help our partners prosper.

As always, feel free to connect with me at any time: [email protected].



Michael Eng

As a child, Editor and Publisher Michael Eng collected front pages of the Kansas City Star during Operation Desert Storm, so it was a foregone conclusion that he would pursue a career in journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Missouri — Columbia School of Journalism. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his wife and three children, or playing drums around town. He’s also a sucker for dad jokes.

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