maybe this "feedback" that they were listening too wasn't the readers, but the writers. when rupert murdoch was railing against google news for nicking all his journo's hard work, google argued that they gave them lots of free traffic in return.
the problem was, that argument only really worked for those papers that got a big link under the headlines. it didnt work so good for the 2000 others that were hidden behind the little "more>>" link. because they got no traffic at all.
this redesign addresses that a little bit, because now more papers get a link on the front page. maybe three or four times as many.