First, let me begin by saying I've enjoyed your publication since I began reading it in '97. There have been tons of great articles, reviews, and recommendations I've gotten a lot out of. I think the new print layout is neat, and does offer a more "journalistic" feel. But, I do have a problem with it, too.
I am greatly disappointed in the loss of the Sound Board section. As editor Mark Kemp mentioned in this week's issue ("Editor's Note," June 28), I too would scour each week's Sound Board, deciding which bands to check out in the coming days. The Sound Board section provided a quick, one-stop way to find out what was happening in Charlotte's live music scene. I personally have never found the website's version to be as accessible. I believe that the loss of the Sound Board is a huge disservice to the Charlotte music scene. There was no other print media in Charlotte that offered such a comprehensive service. In this era of digital media, I think sometimes we forget the value of the printed word. Digital media is nice, and can be more expansive, but there is something to be said for leafing through a physical publication. Also, I think it is worth noting that not everyone has smart phones or Internet access, which in turn leads to a section of the music community that no longer has access to the show listings that the Sound Board provided.
In closing, I'd like to thank you and all the CL staff for the incredible job that you all do each week to bring us such a great publication, and I hope to see the return of the Sound Board soon.
— Jym Chapman
Mark Kemp replies: Jym, thanks so much for writing. I hear your concerns — and the concerns of others who have written — and I want you to know that this was not a decision we made lightly. We all are in an era of transition, and it's been as difficult for those of us who report and present the news as it has been for those who consume it. We've had to make tough decisions: Do we devote the limited space we have in print to this item or that? It's a question we ask ourselves about every detail. In this case, we chose to devote the print space we used for Sound Board to what we believe a print product does best: offering news, profiles, criticism, analysis and commentary. The upside is that at the front of the paper, in CL Recommends, we now have even more space for previews about music events happening across Charlotte. That section can't include everything, and that's what our website is for — it has unlimited space.
You mentioned that you "have never found the website's version to be as accessible." Tell you what: We'll work on that. We promise to improve the online version of Sound Board, making it more accessible, more interactive and ultimately much better than the version in print ever was.