I've been noticing this lately and it's been bothering me a little, so I thought I'd speak up.
I don't know about other people, but I mostly come to Phoronix for news. I think of it as a news site, it has more news stories than anything else, and when I go to http://phoronix.com/, I expect the latest news item to be front and centre. Only, it most certifiably isn't.
It always screws me up, too; I send four or five seconds staring at the same piece of hardware I can't afford that was up the day before, and I can never quite quell the feeling of, "What, nothing happened?" before the spell breaks and I remember that, "Oh yeah, the news is in that tiny sidebar!"
Not only is it kind of jarring, that stuff just really isn't why I'm here; I can get decent hardware reviews pretty much anywhere, these days. If Featured Content were always in-depth articles and interviews with the occasional benchmark or hardware review, I would probably adapt better, but as far as niche journalism machines go, the Linux graphics world is lucky to have what it's got.
Thoughts on putting Features in the box and letting News out to stretch?