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Meet the new Creative Loafing 

OK, I'm going to assume that — if you picked up the print edition of this week's paper — you noticed the gigantic CL logo on the cover, and that you're asking: "What's so new about the 'new' Creative Loafing?" (If you haven't seen it yet, go pick it up.)

Well, to answer your question, I've got all the details here. But first, let me offer up a super-quick history lesson.

Creative Loafing has been operating as a media force in Charlotte for more than two decades. And for all that time, readers have depended on us to deliver the best news, arts, music and event information (and much more) every week in print and (in the last few years) every day on the web.

But when you've been around as long as we have, it's a good idea, every once in a while, to examine how you're operating and figure out how to do things better. Which brings us to this week's installment of CL.

This debut issue is the first salvo in our attempt to cover the city of Charlotte in a more effective and thorough way — and present content in a way that's more fun to digest.

Flip through our pages and it should be obvious that, from a strictly superficial perspective, CL looks totally different. Our intent was to free up the design and, instead of presenting impenetrable "walls" of text, we're rolling out breezy pages that are crafted to draw in readers and keep them until the paper's last page. Our new look is fresher, bolder, and brasher; that said, we decided to carry that philosophy over to the articles found in CL, too.

In terms of regular features and departments, starting here, we're beefing up and adding tons of new content, such as:

• More visual arts: Our re-invigorated Arts section is set to highlight exhibits and events at galleries, museums and other spaces every issue. We'll also be delivering longer-form pieces about local artists, trends and more on a regular basis.

• More music: We're increasing our coverage of music in Charlotte by showcasing more shows, more bands — and making it easier for you to find info about your favorite sonic pleasures in the Q.C.

• More nightlife: In the past, we only marginally covered Charlotte's nightlife scene. But starting this week, we're jumping into the deep end by adding a new nightlife profile, which is designed to shine a light on movers, shakers, tastemakers and crazy folks who make our town pop after dark.

• Mo' betta listings: Our varied listing sections — Happenings, Arts Agenda, Soundboard — have been improved and moved to a more centralized location. In fact, Arts Agenda has been folded into Happenings, so look to Happenings for art-centric events.

• More of what you love: We've renewed our commitment to bringing you the stuff you love more often. Whether that's our Savage Love sex advice column, or News of the Weird, or DVD reviews or whatever, we're rededicated to making sure you're getting your fix every week.

And all that's just the tip of the iceberg. We'll be introducing even more new columns, features, cover stories and more in the coming weeks and months. Ultimately, everyone here at CL — from the editorial team, to the folks who sell the ads you love, to the management — is passionate about producing the best paper possible. This newly designed edition is one giant step in the right direction for us — and hopefully for you, our great readers.

So, check us out, and see what you think. And if you've got a free moment, e-mail me your thoughts, comments and criticisms about our new look. I'm anxious to hear what you think.

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