Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New from 'Roanoke Times': A Web Site Called 'BigLickU'

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New from 'Roanoke Times': A Web Site Called 'BigLickU'

Article excerpt

Like just about every other paper in the country, The Roanoke (Va.) Times is desperate to reach young readers.

At first, the paper tried to hook young adults within the pages of its tab supplement, the Current, inserted in the daily paper six days a week. Though not exclusively for students, the Current recruited them to write stories and personal essays for a section within the tab.

It was a flop.

"It was not a good means to go after that demo," recalled Chris Winston, then editor of Current, who added students rarely read the section.

That didn't mean the Times was going to give up. Instead, the paper took steps to actually find out what students wanted and to little surprise, the answer involved the Internet.

The project evolved into a Web site called BigLickU.com, which officially launched today.

If it sounds ribald, Winston, who is now "provost" and general manager of the site, explained Big Lick was once the name of old Roanoke before it became, well Roanoke in 1882. For those less versed in the ways of horses and other brine-loving animals -- big lick is a twist on salt lick. …

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