This is entirely opinion, and before I continue, I appreciate the creators and editors of newschoolers and the work they put in immensely. That being said I think that the new layout of the homepage(not actually that new) is a huge step back. The way it was previously laid out, with pictures, videos and threads spread out three wide, and organized with the hottest topics at the top, was a more modern and functional way to set up the website.
The current way it is set up, first of all, has a huge emphasis on advertisement, the entire right third is sponsored links, as well as the ad above the featured videos and articles.
I also dislike the idea of featured links in general. It was not as bad when there was around eight featured topics, but four is far too few. I do not pretend to understand the process of becoming a featured video, but I feel fairly certain that it is not based solely on how "hot" the media is. I assume that while how many views per hour is factored in, part of how these featured videos are chosen is based on what media facets the designers of the site think are important, or think that their viewership will deem important.
The result of this is that select mainstream media facets that are already popular, are more likely to have their media remain popular and viewed. Meanwhile, smaller media producers end up spatially de-emphasised; even a video that gets a decent amount of views could be extremely far down the page. While the expression, "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" is a pretty drastic way to describe this, it is accurate in a sense.
Newschoolers is a great way to share ski media, I just wish it would go back to a spatial format that gave smaller media publishers as much emphasis as large ones. There is a lot of talent and cool content on newschoolers, and it bothers me that some of it can be discredited due to the layout of the site.