USA Today | Wikipedia audio article

USA Today | Wikipedia audio article


USA Today is an internationally distributed
American daily, middle-market newspaper that serves as the flagship publication of its
owner, the Gannett Company. The newspaper has a generally centrist audience. Founded by Al Neuharth on September 15, 1982,
it operates from Gannett’s corporate headquarters on Jones Branch Drive, in McLean, Virginia. It is printed at 37 sites across the United
States and at five additional sites internationally. Its dynamic design influenced the style of
local, regional, and national newspapers worldwide, through its use of concise reports, colorized
images, informational graphics, and inclusion of popular culture stories, among other distinct
features.With a weekly circulation of 1,021,638 and an approximate daily reach of seven million
readers as of 2016, USA Today shares the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper
in the United States with The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. USA Today is distributed in all 50 states,
the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and an international edition is distributed
in Asia, Canada, Europe, and the Pacific Islands.==History==
The genesis of USA Today was on February 29, 1980, when a company task force known as “Project
NN” met with Gannett Company chairman Al Neuharth in Cocoa Beach, Florida to develop a national
newspaper. Early regional prototypes included East Bay
Today, an Oakland, California-based publication published in the late 1970s to serve as the
morning edition of the Oakland Tribune, an afternoon newspaper which Gannett owned at
the time. On June 11, 1981, Gannett printed the first
prototypes of the proposed publication. The two proposed design layouts were mailed
to newsmakers and prominent leaders in journalism, for review and feedback. The Gannett Company’s board of directors approved
the launch of the national newspaper, titled USA Today, on December 5, 1981. At launch, Neuharth was appointed president
and publisher of the newspaper, adding those responsibilities to his existing position
as Gannett’s chief executive officer.Gannett announced the launch of the paper on April
20, 1982. USA Today began publishing on September 15,
1982, initially in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas for an newsstand price
of 25¢ (equivalent to 63¢ today). After selling out the first issue, Gannett
gradually expanded the national distribution of the paper, reaching an estimated circulation
of 362,879 copies by the end of 1982, double the amount of sales that Gannett projected. The design uniquely incorporated color graphics
and photographs. Initially, only its front news section pages
were rendered in four-color, while the remaining pages were printed in a spot color format. The paper’s overall style and elevated use
of graphics – developed by Neuharth, in collaboration with staff graphics designers
George Rorick, Sam Ward, Suzy Parker, John Sherlock and Web Bryant – was derided by
critics, who referred to it as “McPaper” or “television you can wrap fish in,” because
it opted to incorporate concise nuggets of information more akin to the style of television
news, rather than in-depth stories like traditional newspapers, which many in the newspaper industry
considered to be a dumbing down of the news. Although USA Today had been profitable for
just ten years as of 1997, it changed the appearance and feel of newspapers around the
world.On July 2, 1984, the newspaper switched from predominantly black-and-white to full
color photography and graphics in all four sections. The next week on July 10, USA Today launched
an international edition intended for U.S. readers abroad, followed four months later
on October 8 with the rollout of the first transmission via satellite of its international
version to Singapore. On April 8, 1985, the paper published its
first special bonus section, a 12-page section called “Baseball ’85,” which previewed the
1985 Major League Baseball season.By the fourth quarter of 1985, USA Today had become the
second largest newspaper in the United States, reaching a daily circulation of 1.4 million
copies. Total daily readership of the paper by 1987
(according to Simmons Market Research Bureau statistics) had reached 5.5 million, the largest
of any daily newspaper in the U.S. On May 6, 1986, USA Today began production
of its international edition in Switzerland. USA Today operated at a loss for most of its
first four years of operation, accumulating a total deficit of $233 million after taxes,
according to figures released by Gannett in July 1987; the newspaper began turning its
first profit in May 1987, six months ahead of Gannett corporate revenue projections.On
January 29, 1988, USA Today published the largest edition in its history, a 78-page
weekend edition featuring a section previewing Super Bowl XXII; the edition included 44.38
pages of advertising and sold 2,114,055 copies, setting a single-day record for an American
newspaper (and surpassed seven months later on September 2, when its Labor Day weekend
edition sold 2,257,734 copies). On April 15, USA Today launched a third international
printing site, based in Hong Kong. The international edition set circulation
and advertising records during August 1988, with coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics,
selling more than 60,000 copies and 100 pages of advertising.By July 1991, Simmons Market
Research Bureau estimated that USA Today had a total daily readership of nearly 6.6 million,
an all-time high and the largest readership of any daily newspaper in the United States. On September 1 of that year, USA Today launched
a fourth printsite for its international edition in London for the United Kingdom and the British
Isles. The international edition’s schedule was changed
as of April 1, 1994 Monday through Friday, rather than from Tuesday through Saturday,
in order to accommodate business travelers; on February 1, 1995, USA Today opened its
first editorial bureau outside the United States at its Hong Kong publishing facility;
additional editorial bureaus were launched in London and Moscow in 1996.On April 17,
1995, USA Today launched its website, www.usatoday.com, as part of the USA Today Information Network
to provide real-time news coverage; the site would eventually expand to include a spin-off
website that launched in June 2002, USATODAY.com Travel, providing travel information and booking
tools. On August 28, 1995, a fifth international
publishing site was launched in Frankfurt, Germany, to print and distribute the international
edition throughout most of Europe. On October 4, 1999, USA Today began running
advertisements on its front page for the first time. In 2017, some pages of USA Today’s website
features the “autoplay” functionality for video or audio-aided stories. On February 8, 2000, Gannett launched USA
Today Live, a broadcast and Internet initiative designed to provide coverage from the newspaper
to broadcast television stations nationwide for use in their local newscasts and their
websites; the venture would also provide integration with the USA Today website, which transitioned
from a text-based format to feature audio and video clips of news content. The paper launched a sixth printing site for
its international edition on May 15, 2000, in Milan, Italy, followed on July 10 by the
launch of an international printing facility in Charleroi, Belgium.2001 saw additional
expansion of the newspaper, with the launch of two interactive units: on June 19, USA
Today and Gannett Newspapers launched the USA Today Careers Network (now Careers.com),
a website featuring localized employment listings, then on July 18, the USA Today News Center
was launched as an interactive television news service developed through a joint venture
with the On Command Corporation that was distributed to hotels around the United States. On September 12 of that year, the newspaper
set an all-time single day circulation record, selling 3,638,600 copies for its edition covering
the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged The Pentagon and
a hijacking attempt tied to the two events that resulted in the crash of United Airlines
Flight 93 outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania. That November, USA Today migrated its operations
from Gannett’s previous corporate headquarters in Arlington, Virginia to the company’s new
headquarters in nearby McLean.On December 12, 2005, Gannett announced that it would
combine the separate newsroom operations of USA Today’s online and print entities, with
USAToday.com’s vice president and editor-in-chief Kinsey Wilson being promoted to co-executive
editor, alongside existing executive editor John Hillkirk. In 2010, USA Today launched the USA Today
API for sharing data with partners of all types.===Newsroom restructuring and 2011 graphical
tweaks===On August 27, 2010, USA Today announced that
it would undergo a reorganization of its newsroom, announcing the layoffs of 130 staffers. It also announced that the paper would shift
its focus away from print and place more emphasis on its digital platforms (including USAToday.com
and its related mobile applications) and launch of a new publication called USA Today Sports. On January 24, 2011, to reverse a revenue
slide, the paper introduced a tweaked format that modified the appearance of its front
section pages, which included a larger logo at the top of each page; coloring tweaks to
section front pages; a new sans-serif font, called Prelo, for certain headlines of main
stories (replacing the Gulliver typeface that had been implemented for story headers in
April 2000); an updated “Newsline” feature featuring larger, “newsier” headline entry
points; and the increasing and decreasing of mastheads and white space to present a
cleaner style.===2012 redesign===On September 14, 2012, USA Today underwent
the first major redesign in its history, in commemoration for the 30th anniversary of
the paper’s first edition. Developed in conjunction with brand design
firm Wolff Olins, the print edition of USA Today added a page covering technology stories
and expanded travel coverage within the Life section and increased the number of color
pages included in each edition, while retaining longtime elements. The “globe” logo used since the paper’s inception
was replaced with a new logo featuring a large circle rendered in colors corresponding to
each of the sections, serving as an infographic that changes with news stories, containing
images representing that day’s top stories.The paper’s website was also extensively overhauled
using a new, in-house content management system known as Presto and a design created by Fantasy
Interactive, that incorporates flipboard-style navigation to switch between individual stories
(which obscure most of the main and section pages), clickable video advertising and a
responsive design layout. The site was designed to be more interactive,
provide optimizations for mobile and touchscreen devices, provide “high impact” advertising
units, and provide the ability for Gannett to syndicate USA Today content to the websites
of its local properties, and vice versa. To accomplish this goal, Gannett migrated
its newspaper and television station websites to the Presto platform and the USA Today site
design throughout 2013 and 2014 (although archive content accessible through search
engines remains available through the pre-relaunch design).===Mid-2010s expansion and restructuring
===On October 6, 2013, Gannett test launched
a daily “butterfly” edition of USA Today for distribution as an insert in four of its newspapers
– The Indianapolis Star, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, the Fort Myers-based News-Press
and the Appleton, Wisconsin-based Post-Crescent. The launch of the syndicated insert caused
USA Today to restructure its operations to allow seven-day-a-week production to accommodate
the packaging of its national and international news content and enterprise stories (comprising
about 10 pages for the weekday and Saturday editions, and up to 22 pages for the Sunday
edition) into the pilot insert. Gannett later announced on December 11, that
it would formally launch the condensed daily edition of USA Today in 31 additional local
newspapers nationwide through April 2014 (with the Palm Springs, California-based Desert
Sun and the Lafayette, Louisiana-based Advertiser being the first newspapers outside of the
pilot program participants to add the supplement on December 15), citing “positive feedback”
to the feature from readers and advertisers of the initial four papers. Gannett was given permission from the Alliance
for Audited Media to count the circulation figures from the syndicated local insert with
the total circulation count for the flagship national edition of USA Today.On January 4,
2014, USA Today acquired the book and film review website, Reviewed.com. In the first quarter of 2014, Gannett launched
a condensed USA Today insert into 31 other newspapers in its network, thereby increasing
the number of inserts to 35, in an effort to shore up USA Today’s circulation after
it regained its position as the highest circulated weekdaily newspaper in the United States in
October 2013. On September 3, 2014, USA Today announced
that it would lay off roughly 70 employees in a restructuring of its newsroom and business
operations. In October 2014, USA Today and OpenWager Inc.
entered into a partnership to release a Bingo app called USA TODAY Bingo Cruise.On December
3, 2015, Gannett formally launched the USA Today Network, a national digital newsgathering
service providing shared content between USA Today and the company’s 92 local newspapers
throughout the United States as well as pooling advertising services on both a hyperlocal
and national reach. The Louisville Courier-Journal had earlier
soft-launched the service as part of a pilot program started on November 17, coinciding
with an imaging rebrand for the Louisville, Kentucky-based newspaper; Gannett’s other
local newspaper properties, as well as those it acquired through its merger with the Journal
Media Group, began identifying themselves as part of the USA Today Network (foregoing
use of the Gannett name outside of requisite ownership references) gradually integrated
into the USA Today Network through early January 2016.==Layout and format==USA Today is known for synthesizing news down
to easy-to-read-and-comprehend stories. In the main edition circulated in the United
States and some Canadian cities, each edition consists of four sections: News (the oft-labeled
“front page” section), Money, Sports, and Life. Since March 1998, the Friday edition of Life
has been separated into two distinct sections: the regular Life focusing on entertainment
(subtitled Weekend; section E), which features television reviews and listings, a DVD column,
film reviews and trends, and a travel supplement called Destinations & Diversions (section
D). The international edition of the paper features
two sections: News and Money in one; with Sports and Life in the other. Atypical of most daily newspapers, the paper
does not print on Saturdays and Sundays; the Friday edition serves as the weekend edition
(although USA Today has published special Saturday and Sunday editions in the past,
the first being published on January 19, 1991, when it released a Saturday “Extra” edition
updating coverage of the Gulf War from the previous day; the paper published special
seven-day-a-week editions for the first time on July 19, 1996, when it published special
editions for exclusive distribution in the host city of Atlanta and surrounding areas
for the two-week duration of the Summer Olympics). USA Today prints each complete story on the
front page of the respective section with the exception of the cover story. The cover story is a longer story that requires
a jump (readers must turn to another page in the paper to complete the story, usually
the next page of that section). On certain days, the news or sports section
will take up two paper sections, and there will be a second cover story within the second
section. Each section is denoted by a certain color
to differentiate sections beyond lettering and is seen in a box the top-left corner of
the first page; the principal section colors are blue for News (section A), green for Money
(section B), red for Sports (section C), and purple for Life (section D); in the paper’s
early years, the Life and Money sections were also assigned blue nameplates and spot color,
as the presses used at USA Today’ printing facilities did not yet accommodate the use
of other colors to denote all four original sections. Orange is used for bonus sections (section
E or above), which are published occasionally such as for business travel trends and the
Olympics; other bonus sections for sports (such as for the PGA Tour preview, NCAA Basketball
Tournaments, Memorial Day auto races (Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600), NFL opening weekend
and the Super Bowl) previously used the orange color, but now use the red designated for
sports in their bonus sections. To increase their ties to USA Today, Gannett
incorporated the USA Today coloring scheme into an internally created graphics package
for news programming that the company began phasing in across its television station group
– which were spun-off in July 2015 into the separate broadcast and digital media company
Tegna – in late 2012 (the package utilizes the color scheme for a rundown graphic used
on most stations – outside those that Gannett acquired in 2014 from London Broadcasting,
which began implementing the package in late 2015 – that persists throughout its stations’
newscasts, as well as bumpers for individual story topics). Gannett’s television stations began to a new
on-air appearance that uses a color-coding system identical to that of the paper. In many ways, USA Today is set up to break
the typical newspaper layout. Some examples of that divergence from tradition
include using the left-hand quarter of each section as reefers (front-page paragraphs
referring to stories on inside pages), sometimes using sentence-length blurbs to describe stories
inside; the lead reefer is the cover page feature “Newsline,” which shows summarized
descriptions of headline stories featured in all four main sections and any special
sections. As a national newspaper, USA Today cannot
focus on the weather for any one city. Therefore, the entire back page of the News
section is used for weather maps for the continental United States, Puerto Rico and the United
States Virgin Islands, and temperature lists for many cities throughout the U.S. and the
world (temperatures for individual cities on the primary forecast map and temperature
lists are suffixed with a one- or two-letter code, such as “t” for thunderstorms, referencing
the expected weather conditions); the colorized forecast map, originally created by staff
designer George Rorick (who left USA Today for a similar position at The Detroit News
in 1986), was copied by newspapers around the world, breaking from the traditional style
of using monochrome contouring or simplistic text to denote temperature ranges. National precipitation maps for the next three
days (previously five days until the 2012 redesign), and four-day forecasts and Air
Quality Indexes for 36 major U.S. cities (originally 16 cities prior to 1999) – with individual
cities color-coded by the temperature contour corresponding to the given area on the forecast
map – are also featured. Weather data is provided by AccuWeather, which
has served as the forecast provider for USA Today for most of the paper’s existence (with
an exception from January 2002 to September 2012, when The Weather Channel provided data
through a long-term multimedia content agreement with Gannett). In the bottom left-hand corner of the weather
page is “Weather Focus”, a graphic which explains various meteorological phenomena. On some days, the Weather Focus could be a
photo of a rare meteorological event. On Mondays, the Money section uses its back
page for “Market Trends,” a feature that launched in June 2002 and presents an unusual graphic
depicting the performance of various industry groups as a function of quarterly, monthly,
and weekly movements against the S&P 500. On days featuring bonus sections or business
holidays, the Money and Life sections are usually combined into one section, while combinations
of the Friday Life editions into one section are common during quiet weeks. Advertising coverage is seen in the Monday
Money section, which often includes a review of a current television ad, and after Super
Bowl Sunday, a review of the ads aired during the broadcast with the results of the Ad Track
live survey. Stock tables for individual stock exchanges
(comprising one subsection for companies traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and another
for companies trading on NASDAQ and the American Stock Exchange) and mutual indexes were discontinued
with the 2012 redesign due to the myriad of electronic ways to check individual stock
prices, in line with most newspapers. Book coverage, including reviews and a national
sales chart (the latter of which debuted on October 28, 1994), is seen on Thursdays in
Life, with the official full A.C. Nielsen television ratings chart printed on Wednesdays
or Thursdays, depending on release. The paper also publishes the Mediabase survey
for several genres of music, based on radio airplay spins on Tuesdays, along with their
own chart of the top ten singles in general on Wednesdays. Because of the same limitations cited for
its nationalized forecasts, the television page in Life – which provides prime time
and late night listings (running from 8:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Eastern Time) – incorporates a boilerplate
“Local news” or “Local programming” descriptions to denote time periods in which the five major
English language broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and The CW) cede airtime to
allow their affiliates to carry syndicated programs or local newscasts; the television
page has never been accompanied by a weekly listings supplement with broader scheduling
information similar to those featured in local newspapers. Like most national papers, USA Today does
not carry comic strips. One of the staples of the News section is
“Across the USA,” a state-by-state roundup of headlines. The summaries consist of paragraph-length
Associated Press reports highlighting one story of note in each state, the District
of Columbia, and one U.S. territory. Similarly, the “For the Record” page of the
Sports section (which features sports scores for both the previous four days of league
play and individual non-league events, seasonal league statistics and wagering lines for the
current day’s games) also features a rundown of winning numbers from the previous deadline
date for all participating state lotteries and individual multi-state lotteries. Some traditions have been retained, however. The lead story still appears on the upper-right
hand of the front page. Commentary and political cartoons occupy the
last few pages of the News section. Stock and mutual fund data are presented in
the Money section. But USA Today is sufficiently different in
aesthetics to be recognized on sight, even in a mix of other newspapers, such as at a
newsstand. The overall design and layout of USA Today
has been described as neo-Victorian.Also, in most of the sections’ front pages, on the
lower left hand corner, are “USA Today Snapshots”, which give statistics of various lifestyle
interests according to the section it is in (for example, a snapshot in “Life” could show
how many people tend to watch a certain genre of television show based upon the type of
mood they are in at the time). These “Snapshots” are shown through graphs
which are made up of various illustrations of objects that roughly pertain to the graphs
subject matter (using the example above, the graph’s bars could be made up of several TV
sets, or ended by one). These are usually loosely based on research
by a national institute (with the credited source mentioned in fine print in the box
below the graph). The newspaper also features an occasional
magazine supplement called Open Air, which launched on March 7, 2008 and appears several
times a year. Various other advertorials appear throughout
the year, mainly on Fridays.===Opinion section===
The opinion section prints USA Today editorials, columns by guest writers and members of the
Editorial Board of Contributors, letters to the editor, and editorial cartoons. One unique feature of the USA Today editorial
page is the publication of opposing points of view; alongside the editorial board’s piece
on the day’s topic runs an opposing view by a guest writer, often an expert in the field. The opinion pieces featured in each edition
are decided by the Board of Contributors, which are separate from the paper’s news staff.As
of 2010, the editorial page editor was Brian Gallagher, who has worked for the newspaper
since its founding in 1982. Other members of the Editorial Board included
deputy editorial page editor Bill Sternberg, executive forum editor John Siniff, op-ed/forum
page editor Glen Nishimura, operations editor Thuan Le Elston, letters editor Michelle Poblete,
web content editor Eileen Rivers, and editorial writers Dan Carney, George Hager, and Saundra
Torry. The newspaper’s website calls this group “demographically
and ideologically diverse.”USA Today has traditionally maintained a policy not to endorse candidates
for the United States Presidency or any other state or federal political office, which it
has refrained from doing since its inception. Since 1984, its political editorials during
the Presidential election cycle has focused instead on providing opinion on major issues
relevant to the campaign based on the differing concerns of voters, the vast amount of information
on ongoing Presidential campaigns, and the Board of Contributors’ aim to provide a fair
viewpoint through the diverse political ideologies of its members and avoid reader perceptions
of bias. However, the board re-evaluates its non-endorsement
policy through an independent process during each four-year election cycle, with any decision
to circumvent the policy based on a consensus vote in which fewer than two of the editorial
board’s members dissent or hold differing opinions.The editorial board broke from this
stance for the first time on September 29, 2016, when it published an op-ed piece condemning
the candidacy of Republican nominee Donald Trump, calling him “unfit for the presidency”
due to his inflammatory campaign rhetoric (particularly that aimed at military veterans,
immigrants, and various ethnic and religious groups); his temperament and lack of financial
transparency; his “checkered” business record; his use of false and hyperbolic statements;
the inconsistency of his viewpoints and issues with his vision on domestic and foreign policy;
and, based on comments he has made during his campaign and criticisms by both Democrats
and Republicans on these views, the potential risks to national security and constitutional
ethics under a Trump administration, asking voters to “resist the siren song of a dangerous
demagogue”. The board noted that the piece was not a “qualified
endorsement” of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, for whom the board was unable to
reach a consensus for endorsing (some editorial board members expressed that Clinton’s public
service record would help her “serve the nation ably as its president,” while others had “serious
reservations about [her] sense of entitlement, […] lack of candor and […] extreme carelessness
in handling classified information”), instead advising voters to decide whether to vote
for Clinton, Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, Green Party nominee Jill Stein or a write-in
candidate; or focus on Senate, House and other down-ballot political races.In February 2018,
USA Today stirred controversy by publishing an op-ed by Jerome Corsi, the DC bureau chief
for the fringe conspiracy website InfoWars. Corsi, a prominent conspiracy theorist, was
described by USA Today as an “author” and “investigative journalist”. Corsi was a prominent proponent of the false
conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not a US citizen, and Infowars has promoted conspiracy
theories such as 9/11 being an inside job and the Sandy Hook massacre being a hoax staged
by child actors.In October 2018, USA Today was criticized for publishing an editorial
by President Donald Trump that was replete with inaccuracies. The Washington Post fact-checker noted that
“almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood.”==Personnel==
In May 2012, Larry Kramer – a 40-year media industry veteran and former president of CBS
Digital Media – was appointed president and publisher of USA Today, replacing David
Hunke, who had been publisher of the newspaper since 2009. Kramer was tasked with developing a new strategy
for the paper as it sought to increase revenue from its digital operations.In July 2012,
Kramer hired David Callaway – whom the former had hired as lead editor of MarketWatch in
1999, two years after Kramer founded the website during his tenure at CBS News – as the paper’s
editor-in-chief. Callaway had previously worked at Bloomberg
covering the banking, investment-banking and asset-management businesses throughout Europe
and at the Boston Herald, where he co-wrote a daily financial column on “comings and goings
in the Boston business district”. Conservative activist Peter Gemma has written
more than 100 op-ed pieces for USA Today.The current Editor-in-Chief is Nicole Carroll.===Editorial board===
Bill Sternberg David Mastio – said libertarian pundit John
Stossel had a conflict of interest Jill Lawrence – see Politics Daily
Dan Carney Thuan Le Elston
Josh Rivera Eileen Rivers
Saundra Torry – active in the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press since 2000==Related publications and services=====USA Weekend===USA Weekend is a defunct sister publication
that launched in 1953 as Family Weekly, a national weekend newsmagazine supplement intended
for the Sunday editions of various U.S. newspapers; it adopted its final title following Gannett’s
purchase of the magazine in 1985. The magazine – which was distributed to
approximately 800 newspapers nationwide at its peak with most Gannett-owned local newspapers
carrying it by default within their Sunday editions – focused primarily on social issues,
entertainment, health, food and travel. On December 5, 2014, Gannett announced that
it would cease publishing USA Weekend after the December 26–28 edition, citing increasing
operational costs and reduced advertising revenue, with most of its participating newspapers
choosing to replace it with competing Sunday magazine Parade.===USA Today Sports Weekly===USA Today Sports Weekly is a weekly magazine
that covers news and statistics from Major League Baseball, minor league and NCAA baseball,
the National Football League (NFL) and NASCAR. It was first published on April 5, 1991 as
USA Today Baseball Weekly, a tabloid-sized baseball-focused publication released on Wednesdays,
on a weekly basis during the baseball season and bi-weekly during the off-season; the magazine
expanded its sports coverage on September 4, 2002, when it adopted its current title
after added stories about the NFL. Sports Weekly added coverage of NASCAR on
February 15, 2006, lasting only during that year’s race season; and added coverage of
NCAA college football on August 8, 2007. The editorial operations of Sports Weekly
originally operated autonomously from USA Today, before being integrated with the newspaper’s
sports department in late 2005.===The Big Lead===The Big Lead is a sports blog operated by
USA Today that was launched in February 2006 by original owner Fantasy Sports Ventures
(co-founded by Jason McIntyre and David Lessa), which was purchased by the Gannett Company
– which, beginning in April 2008, had maintained a strategic content and marketing partnership
with the former company – in January 2012. The site – which is usually updated on a
routine basis of 10 to 15 times per day between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time – mainly
covers sports, but also provides news and commentary on other news topics, ranging from
politics to pop culture.===USA Today: The Television Show===
In 1987, Gannett and producer Grant Tinker began developing a newsmagazine series for
first-run syndication that attempted to bring the breezy style of USA Today to television. The result was USA Today: The Television Show
(later retitled USA Today on TV, then shortened to simply USA Today), which premiered on September
12, 1988. Correspondents on the program included Edie
Magnus, Robin Young, Boyd Matson, Kenneth Walker, Dale Harimoto, Ann Abernathy, Bill
Macatee and Beth Ruyak. As with the newspaper itself, the show was
divided into four “sections” corresponding to the different parts of the paper: News
(focusing on the major headlines of the day), Money (focusing on financial news and consumer
reports), Sports (focusing on sports news and scores) and Life (focusing on entertainment
and lifestyle-related stories). The series was plagued by low ratings and
negative reviews from critics throughout its run. The program also suffered from being scheduled
in undesirable timeslots in certain markets; this was a particular case in New York City,
the country’s largest media market, where CBS owned-and-operated station WCBS-TV (channel
2) aired the program in a pre-dawn early morning slot, before the program moved to NBC O&O
WNBC five months into its run in a 9:30 a.m. slot, where it did not fare any better despite
being placed in a more palatable time period (in contrast, CITY-TV in Toronto, Ontario,
Canada [now the flagship station of the City television network], ran it at 5:00 p.m.).) These setbacks led to the cancellation of
the TV version of USA Today in November 1989 after one-and-a-half seasons; the final edition
aired on January 7, 1990.Gannett announced plans to develop a USA Today-branded weekly
half-hour television program, to have been titled “Sports Page”, as part of a renewed
initiative to extend the brand into television; this program, which was tapped for a fall
2004 debut, ultimately never launched.===VRtually There===
VRtually There is a weekly virtual reality news program produced by the USA Today Network,
which debuted on October 20, 2016. The program, which is available on the USA
Today mobile app and on YouTube (which maintains content exclusivity through the program’s
dedicated channel for 60 days after each broadcast), showcases three original segments outlining
news stories through a first-person perspective, recorded and produced by journalists from
USA Today and its co-owned local newspapers. The program also incorporates “cubemercials,”
long-form advertisements created by Gannett’s in-house creative studio GET Creative, which
are designed to allow consumer engagenent in fully immersive experiences through virtual
reality.==Awards==
USA Today Minor League Player of the Year Award – First presented in 1988, this annual
award has been given to a particular Minor League Baseball player judged to have had
the most outstanding season by a thirteen-person panel of baseball experts. USA Today All-USA high school baseball team
– First presented in 1998, the award honors between nine and eleven outstanding baseball
players from high schools around the United States to be part on the team (separate awards
honoring the High School Baseball Player of the Year and High School Baseball Coach of
the Year have been given since 1989). USA Today All-USA high school basketball team
– First presented in 1983, the award honors outstanding male and female basketball players
from high schools around the United States with a place on the team, with one member
of each team being named as the High School Basketball Player of the Year as well as coaches
from a select boys’ and girls’ team as the High School Basketball Coach of the Year. USA Today All-Joe Team (NFL) – First presented
in 1992 in tribute to Kansas City Chiefs veteran defensive lineman Joe Phillips, the award
honors 52 rookie players from throughout the NFL for their exemplary performance during
the previous league season. USA Today/National Prep Poll High School Football
National Championship – Predating the first publication of USA Today under the sole decision
of the National Prep Poll, it is a national championship honor awarded to the best high
school football team(s) in the United States, based on rankings decided by USA Today’s sports
editorial department. USA Today All-USA high school football team
– First presented in 1982, the award honors outstanding football players from high schools
around the United States (includes ranks for the Super 25 teams in the U.S. and Top 10
teams in the East, South, Midwest and West, and USA Today High School Football Player
of the Year). USA Today High School Football Coach of the
Year – First presented in 1982, the award awards a coach from one of the teams selected
for the All-USA football team for the honor.==In popular culture==A futuristic 2015 edition of USA Today (Hill
Valley edition) is seen in the film Back to the Future Part II (1989). As a tribute to the movie, the newspaper ran
a recreation of the front page, featuring the exact headlines portrayed in the movie,
on October 22, 2015, when the protagonist Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) travels
to October 21, 2015 and reads the following day’s edition of the paper.==See also==
USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter Viewtron==References====External links==
Official website

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