Times features section revamp targets female readership

By Dominic Ponsford

The Times is to relaunch its T2 features section on September 5 with the emphasis on attracting more female readers.

It is a move which could be timed to head off the impact of The
Guardian’s long-awaited relaunch in Berliner format – which is now
expected as early as mid-September.

And it comes as The
Independent is putting the finishing touches to its own anti-Berliner
strategy which began earlier this month with the return of Helen
Fielding’s Bridget Jones column.

Under the T2 relaunch, the
section is to be renamed Times2 and has been given a new look by design
consultant Neville Brody working with editor Sandra Parsons.

Brody
is a typography designer who began his career designing Arena and The
Face before setting up his own consultancy. According to The Times, the
relaunch will be supported by a six-figure marketing campaign
encompassing radio, outdoor posters and television, specifically
targeted at a female audience.

Times editor Robert Thomson said: “The Times has a sophisticated and fast growing audience of women and men.

Our
renaissance readers are passionate about quality content and Times2
will provide them with the best writing in Britain, the cleverest
columnists and the most elegant design in the land.

“As part of
the nation’s journal of record, Times2 will recognise that the modern
reader has a broad range of interests and limited time in which to
indulge and expand them. The new supplement will provide knowledge for
the knowing.”

Independent editor Simon Kelner has promised his
own response to the Guardian’s Berliner relaunch with more “big name
signings” to follow the return of Helen Fielding.

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