It was a great year for Buffalo and Western New York. Cranes sprouted at Canalside and on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. New companies committed to bring new jobs. New hope arrived for the Bills and Sabres. And the prospect of a whole new industry – clean energy – tantalized our region.

Buffalo is growing. The News is, too.

In 2013 at The Buffalo News, we worked hard to give you more – more news coverage, more insight, delivered more ways. Some of the changes:

Refresh. As I write this, my older daughter is stretching for her workout – and I am looking at a plate full of pancakes. Count me among the legions who want to eat better and exercise more, but sometimes fall short. For those who succeed and those who try, we started the Refresh section in March, a guide every Saturday to health, fitness, nutrition and family.

Gusto Sunday. In March, the weekly Gusto section moved to Thursday, giving you more time to plan your weekend. In June, we decided one day of Gusto wasn’t enough and started Gusto Sunday, providing a new home for weekend concert reviews and our expanded coverage of television and the arts.

BN Blitz. Nobody covers the Buffalo Bills like The Buffalo News. That was true 53 years ago when the Bills played their first season, and it is true today. So this fall, we started the digital equivalent of a daily Bills newspaper section. BN Blitz is a website – at – and an iPhone and iPad app. It has everything we publish in the newspaper and, without the space limits of newsprint, much more.

“The Bucky & Sully Show.” Whether it is the Bills or the Sabres or the Bulls or the Bisons, we tell it like it is. For two decades, News sports columnists Jerry Sullivan and Bucky Gleason have provided reporting, analysis and insights – always unvarnished, often colorful. Now they also do it on TV, every Monday and Friday at 7 p.m. on WBBZ-TV.

Weddings. My wife and I still have a yellowed, almost-34-year-old clipping of our wedding announcement from her hometown newspaper. I bet most of you saved yours, too. So in June we brought back free wedding announcements, which the Great Recession had (temporarily) driven from the newspaper.

More reporters. The News has the biggest reporting staff in New York State outside the New York metropolitan area. In 2013, we made it even bigger. We added reporters to deepen our coverage of the hottest local stories. Our education team grew from one reporter to five, including three reporters covering the Buffalo schools. We added new full-time reporting beats on the business of health care; real estate and development; the environment; and suburban schools. And Alan Pergament returned to The News to cover TV.

More Nowhere But The Buffalo News. We live in the Information Age, awash in an ocean of news and information. Sixty years ago, a newspaper’s chief job was to tell readers what happened. Today, the newspaper’s job is to go beyond the headlines you have already seen on smartphones or office computers or television. From our reporting on the Buffalo schools to coverage of the region’s development boom to special reports on toxic waste, Lake Erie and mental illness, The News’ reporters and editors are singularly focused on going beyond the headlines and making you smarter about the issues facing Western New York.

We have lots of ideas to make The News even better in 2014. Stay tuned.