Twenty-six: That’s the number of calls, emails and text messages reacting to the new Tidings format we've gotten since it debuted Aug. 12. Twenty-two reactions have been positive, three negative and one was on the fence.

Two: The number of callers who drew out the word “love” so it sounded like “looooooooovvvvveeeeee” in saying they love the new look. Thanks!

Two: The number of callers who indicated if they wanted a tabloid, they’d pick up the National Enquirer or The Globe. While it is now in a tabloid format, we’re NOT doing “tabloid journalism,” so you won’t be reading about the president meeting with space aliens and Elvis in Area 51 in the Tidings.

Two: The number of sections we used to have, and also the number of people trying to share the new, one-section paper who were dismayed they could no longer pull out the sports section. We’ll try and rejigger the page sequence so sports falls in the middle, but we like to be able to use color photos in sports, so that may not be possible every day.

One: The number of people complaining about the smaller type. The typeface is actually the same size as before. It does look slightly different.

Five: The number of people who called or emailed about the local sports calendar and Major League Baseball standings, results and schedule missing in the first day’s edition. That was a glitch not directly related to the conversion to the tabloid format, and they’ve been in every day since and will continue to be. Sorry about that; thanks for letting us know you missed it.

Three: The number of ways we plan to gather the stories, photos and videos we print. We now have a larger staff and are using more stories by freelancers. The third way involves you: We want community contributors to send us their stories about what they, their group or their interesting neighbors are up to.

Four: The number of times I’ve been interviewed in the local media in the last two and half weeks. I’ve made guest appearances on three cable television and one morning news talk radio show for a total of three hours of interviews. There’s certainly a vibrant local media scene. One caller told me he's proud to live in the only county in Oregon to support two daily newspapers. Another person pointed out we have five television stations covering the county.

To hear more about the Tidings new format, you can see Ashland Mayor John Stromberg interview me on his "Ashland Town Hall" program at The show airs live monthly on the second Wednesdays on channel 9. If you missed it, replays are cablecast at 6 p.m. Tuesday, 5 p.m. Thursday, 9 p.m. Monday and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27.

To see my interview with Craig Comstock on his "Like Wow!" show, go to It may also be in rotation at 8 p.m. Mondays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays for a couple weeks on cable channel 15 in Ashland (and channel 182 in other areas).

My interview with Therese Swenson on her "Tough Times" program, just taped Saturday, had not been posted online as of this writing, but was due for cablecast Monday night and should be in rotation at noon Saturdays and 7:30 p.m. Mondays for a few weeks.

It also will make its way into the archives at for those who'd prefer to watch it on their computer instead of their television.

I'm all for multimedia myself. It allows the Tidings to use a variety of means — in print, on your desktop, tablet and smartphone, using words, pictures, videos, graphics and sound to get the word out about the community we live in.

Speaking of sound, my Aug. 1 interview with Geoffrey Riley of the Jefferson Exchange radio program is available online at

You can also see me in yet another medium: In person. I’ll hold occasional coffees in Ashland to meet people and hear what they have to say and answer any questions you may have. We haven’t set the first date. When we do, we’ll announce it in the Tidings and on our website,, and my Twitter feed, @betling.

Finally, one last number.

One: There’s just one way the new Tidings is going to work, and that’s if you help. Become a reader, sure, but also become a contributor. We want — we need — to hear from you. To get the community conversation going, we need your voice. Show up at a coffee, send an email, give us a call.

See you in the Tidings.


Reach Daily Tidings editor Bert Etling at or 541-631-1313. Follow him on Twitter at