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Randolph news goes virtual, Wingspread to be replaced March 2007

By Gabriel J. Myers | 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs | Dec. 20, 2006

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — Team Randolph began a new era in news consumption today when the new base public Web site went live, becoming the primary news and information product of the 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs office.

Customers will no longer have to wait for the Wingspread to hit the stands on Friday, they will be able to read timely news and feature stories, with photos of Team Randolph members, almost immediately after it happens.

The change comes as a result of increased manning cuts and Air Force Smart Operations 21 initiatives.

A working group was chartered by Air Force Public Affairs to determine the best way to deliver Air Force news in view of personnel reductions.

The group determined each Air Force newspaper used around 40 man-hours per week in page design, layout and approval, making newspaper production a target for work savings. Eliminating the weekly product would allow a news staff to devote time in producing better news coverage.

The new Web site will increase PA's ability to keep up with a 24-hour news cycle and better inform their local and global audiences.

Field offices are moving toward an online-only product, enabling news to be instantaneous while allowing people to view what's happening at their base, from other locations.

Col. Michelle Johnson, Director of Air Force Public Affairs, said, "A web-based information-delivery system provides a number of benefits such as posting news releases in real time, providing access to home-station news from deployed locations and using the same delivery system at home and while deployed."

The new Air Force Public Information Management System is formatted to look like AFLINK, but will have Randolph-specific items to keep the base, local area and global audiences informed on what's happening at Randolph. The new Web site's address is www.randolph.af.mil.

"PA will continue to write stories and take pictures of Team Randolph people and events. However, instead of spending large amounts of time on the hard-copy newspaper's layout and design, we can spend our efforts on distributing Randolph's news faster and to a wider audience," said Capt. Heather Kekic, Public Affairs chief.

A new print product, with a different name, will take the place of the Wingspread.
The product will contain Randolph specific news and will be published weekly by Primetime Newspapers LLC, the current publisher of the Wingspread. Customers can expect the change in March of 2007.

Because the new publication will not be an Air Force product, the 12th FTW/PA will not retain editorial responsibility for its content.

"This is an exciting time for PA," the captain said. "We have an excellent relationship with our local publisher who will continue to create the quality product we have all come to expect and enjoy."

The new publication will contain stories and photos produced by the 12th FTW/PA and pulled from the new Web site, as well as the Air Education and Training Command news service and AFLINK. Primetime will have complete autonomy of the product, giving them the final decision on the content included each week.

Tom Stephenson, Primetime President and Publisher said, "Primetime has enjoyed a long relationship with Randolph and we are looking forward to continuing that relationship for many years to come. I believe we can continue to provide our readers at Randolph a product that satisfies their news and information needs and provides entertainment along the way."