NEW TIMES Our sister paper, the Santa Maria Sun, just underwent a redesign, right?
MILLER Yes, and it’s actually just the Sun now. We changed the name because we cover more than the city of Santa Maria. Our southernmost focus is on the Santa Ynez Valley, and our upper border includes Nipomo in San Luis Obispo County.
NEW TIMES How much work goes into a redesign?
MILLER How much work? That’s a vague question, difficult to answer. I can tell you that we started talking about a redesign two years ago. [Art Director, Co-Owner, and Co-Publisher] Alex [Zuniga] led the way. He overhauled the way our cover looks, as well as style for content inside, which was a massive undertaking. We developed some new features, too: a music column, a more relevant business column, a column with science-type stuff from the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum.
NEW TIMES Anything else you want to add?
MILLER I think it’s funny that these days, when a paper announces it’s making changes, that usually means cutting content. Comics get thrown out or certain types of stories get axed. The paper gets thinner, and less attractive to readers. We’re keeping what we have and putting in more. New Times is expanding, too. This week, we revived a monthly bike column, and we launched “Cougars and Mustangs,” a column that explores the local colleges.
NEW TIMES Interviewing you for this column, as the executive editor of this paper, is a bit self serving, don’t you think?
MILLER Yes. Yes I do.