Northern Echo ditches broadsheet and turns compact

The Northern Echo is to switch to a tabloid format on 26 February after 137 years as a broadsheet.

A year ago the Echo tested the water by taking its Saturday edition to a compact format, which resulted in a two per cent rise in sales on that day.

A reader survey revealed that 80 per cent of those to respond would prefer a smaller, ‘handier’paper with just 20 per cent preferring the broadsheet.

Editor Peter Barron said: ‘Over the past eight years, and before my tenure as editor, a debate has raged about whether the paper should change its format. It is the question I am asked more than any other and the time for change is now.

‘All that’s changing is the size. In every other respect, The Northern Echo will be the same paper: the same unique balance of local, regional and national news; the same commitment to campaigning journalism and community involvement; and the same great columnists.”

The paper’s Business Echo supplement, which is currently published fortnightly, will now be published every Tuesday. The Saturday compact edition introduced new sections, including a bigger, brighter television guide and an enhanced sports supplement.

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