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The pros and cons of Denver Post features additions

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Unlike former Rocky Mountain News editor, publisher and president John Temple, who love-love-loved speaking for his paper, Denver Post editor Greg Moore seems to prefer a lower public profile. Today, however, a note sporting his signature appears on page one of the Post for the second time since the Rocky closed. Under the heading "WE HEAR YOU," he writes, "You wanted Celebrity Cipher. So we added it to the lineup. You wanted the King Crossword back. And it is... You insisted that Bruce Cameron's humor column was essential, so starting today, his weekly column will appear in the Lifestyle section..."

Such responsiveness makes sense at a time when the Post is actively wooing former Rocky subscribers -- but it presents an interesting challenge when it comes to the papers' arts coverage. Unlike the Rocky, which gutted its Spotlight section in a series of cost-cutting moves over the year or two prior to its demise, the Post held relatively firm -- and the result was more and better reportage about movies, music and so on. But items like those listed above eat into the finite amount of space with which the A&E staff has to work, and so, too, do the two pages of comics from the Rocky the Post is publishing. If editors cleared out the deadwood strips associated with both papers, the result would be two far better pages of funnies and two additional pages that could be devoted to other articles, reviews and so on.

Of course, such a decision would prompt a deluge of criticism from, say, the last seven Marmaduke fantatics on the planet. And so the Post won't make this change -- at least not yet. Instead, Moore and company must try to do more with the arts-section inches that aren't filled by assorted syndicated bits and pieces. Of which there seems to be fewer and fewer all the time.

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