FT unveils something new for the weekend

It would seem natural to assume that, in the age of new media, most people would get their updates on rapidly changing information such as share prices online.

But when the FT Weekend relaunches this week, the financial data will have been rejigged – but not reduced by one iota.

‘The world’s going that way more slowly than people might think,’said FT Weekend editor Andrew Davis. ‘There’s a lot of reasons why people buy the paper, and one of the reasons is they own shares and want to check out what’s going on with them.”

The main changes at the title involve the combining of the news and companies and markets sections into one, with much of the data from companies and markets moving into the tabloid personal finance pull-out, Money.

FT Magazine is being renamed FT Weekend Magazine and slightly expanded in size from A4 to gain another 20mm in width.

It might sound like a small difference, but Davis said: ‘It’s amazing what you gain.’He said the change would greatly improve the way photographs are used and enable the magazine to carry more photo essays.

Grand designs

Designer Ryan Bowman, who worked on the ‘refresh’of the weekday FT a year ago, has tweaked the newsprint sections of the Saturday paper.

And the design team working on the magazine has been beefed up with the recruitment of Alex Breuer, formerly of The Guardian, Esquire, and Men’s Health, and art director Kevin Wilson, also formerly of The Guardian.

In common with other papers in the quality market, the FT’s Saturday edition is its biggest sale of the week. And it appeals to a very different market – only around 35 per cent of the weekend readers also read the weekday edition of the FT.

Whereas the other weekend national newspapers are perceived by many to have gone more populist in recent years, the FT Weekend remains an unashamedly high-brow read. And, if anything, the new look takes it further down that road.

‘There’s a lot of high-brow people in Britain and around the world,’said FT editor Lionel Barber. ‘They’ve got big incomes and are great for advertisers.”

He added: ‘If you look at what Sunday newspapers were doing 20 years ago compared with what they are doing now, that leads me to think there’s definitely room for us to grow in the weekend market.

‘There’s an awful lot more celebrity journalism in the Sunday market. There’s room for a fresh, sophisticated weekend product.

‘I’m old enough to remember some of the colour magazines 25 years ago where there was some very fine reporting and writing and some serious photojournalism.

‘I think with our excellent foreign network and our burgeoning contacts with photographers we can build something similar – that’s our goal.”

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