According to the first Advance Local update of the year, al.com will soon see a reworking of its home page, which will serve as the test model for all of the company’s websites nationwide.

This news comes just a month after the Newhouse Corp. announced all of the entities that had been separated over the past few years would now be rolled back into one under the Advance Local Media LLC moniker.

“Peter Weinberger, John Hassell, Matt Jaeger and the Innovation team are putting the finishing touches on an exciting new home page, which will initially be tested on al.com before rolling out to the rest of our websites,” CEO Randy Siegel and President Caroline Harrison said in the update.

The update also revealed the company’s revenue hopes were not realized in 2017, which will likely lead to cutbacks in some areas.

“Our hardworking sales teams finished 2017 with their best quarter of the year. However, our full-year sales performance in several markets was not as strong as it needed to be to achieve our goals, which is why we continue to focus on new revenue initiatives as well as expense controls,” it read.

Locally some of those controls appear to be moving the sales administration in Mobile to Birmingham. We’re also told by insiders the company may be moving all of its employees to the first floor of its Royal Street offices and renting out the top two floors.

In New Orleans the Times-Picayune/nola.com team has also recently moved to smaller offices and the paper narrowed its paper width an inch to 10.75 and has made its entertainment tabloid, Lagniappe (no affiliation!), a section in the paper.

There have also been 11 layoffs at the Advance-owned Portland Oregonian, as well as a layoff of five positions at Advance Central Services in Louisiana.

Despite not hitting revenue goals, the company continues to put its future hopes almost entirely in digital revenue. Siegel and Harrison’s update said companywide there are now 11 million website followers, and they are still looking for ways to bring in more through use of social media.

“While we’ve focused on core platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, our reporters are doing much more with Snapchat stories, finding audiences on Reddit and delivering flash briefings on Alexa,” the update said.

Scarbinsky calls it quits
Birmingham News and al.com sports columnist Kevin Scarbinsky has announced he’s leaving the news business after 33 years.

Scarbinsky’s columns were well-known statewide and his coverage of all the major college sports programs has often led the way. He announced his departure last week and said he has taken a position as vice president of marketing for the Bruno Event Team.

Maloney kills it in SB ad
Commercial watching has long been almost as big a part of the Super Bowl as the game itself, and with sky-high rates, most of the spots go to big, national companies.

Sunday’s game was no different, and the consensus around the office was that Tide stole the show with its many commercials imitating spots for other products. But one of the locals who stole the show, in my opinion, was the spot for Maloney, Frost and Lyons LLC.

Attorney David J. Maloney has long been known for the tagline “I will personally return your phone call” on the firm’s many television commercials. And his commercial telling drunk drivers he’d never represent them also got a lot of attention, especially after he was arrested in May 2016 under suspicion of driving while under the influence. The case was later dismissed, but the attention did seem to coincide with fewer commercials featuring Maloney.

But his ad Sunday night may have announced a return to the ring. It hilariously took swipes at many of the other personal injury attorneys we’ve all come to know for their ubiquitous billboard and over-the-top TV ads. But the killer was Maloney giving a nod to his own legal problems by altering his famous tagline to say, “I will personally return your call … from almost anywhere” as he stood inside a jail cell.

Love him or hate him, the commercial was brilliant.