Welcome to the New "U.S. News"

We're doing a little renovation to spruce up the place.

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We're doing a little renovation to spruce up the place.

That new logo you see on the cover is not just a cosmetic makeover. It signals a new era for U.S. News. We're changing the way we think of the magazine, and it's going to affect you, our valued readers. Among the changes, we'll be publishing every other week.

As you know, for a long while we've been moving beyond the old newsweekly model. We stopped chewing over last week's events years ago in order to give you more timely perspective and analysis. But the rapid rise of the Internet has caused us to rethink that model as well. It's clear from talking with both our readers and advertisers that the way we deliver information in print has to change in a world where news is updated every minute at websites like our own usnews.com. Indeed, our audience online is now more than 5 million people a month—almost three times that of the magazine. If you've visited us there, you know what a large and growing resource it is, with more than 100,000 pages of content and more being added constantly. A lot of our energy goes into the Web.

At the same time, we believe that ink on paper remains a uniquely valuable way to reach readers. A magazine like U.S. News is a refuge from the din of the Web and cable tv. Print can engage you in ways that pixe lated screens cannot. We thought long and hard about the best role for our print product. We've been experimenting over the past year with additional double issues that allow us to create a rich mix of stories with even more depth. The results, including reader response, have been encouraging. We decided to increase the number of double issues to 26, converting to an every-other-week schedule by 2009. From time to time, we may still publish single issues when we feel that news or special subjects call for it.

New features. In this issue, and those upcoming, you'll see new features to help you more closely connect with the subjects that matter—and with the views of the U.S. News community of readers. We're showcasing your letters more prominently, and we've added a Pro/Con exchange to stimulate debate and reader response. Washington Whispers has added a poll. The space devoted to feature stories in the middle of the magazine will expand to allow us to explore topics in more detail. We'll continue to add timely consumer features like the greatly expanded guide to America's Best Hospitals. You'll find the design a little more relaxed, with a more readable typeface. After all, magazines are meant to be read.

Some things won't change. We take seriously our role to provide information that helps people make decisions, whether it's about presidents, health plans, or colleges. We'll continue to provide the same kind of relevant, useful journalism with a fair-minded perspective. From politics to the economy to the media, the world is going to change a lot in the next few years. We look forward to helping you make sense of it all, however we reach you.

—Brian Kelly