US heavyweight follows UK's tabloid experiment

One
of the most traditional-looking newspapers on UK newsstands has decided
to follow the example of The Times and The Independent and switch to
tabloid format.

The Wall Street Journal is to downsize its Europe
and Asia editions to the new format on 17 October. It is part of a move
intended to integrate the print editions more closely with the website
WSJ.com, which is already the largest paid-for news site on the
internet with 731,000 subscribers.

Raju Narisetti, who is to
succeed Frederick Kempe as editor, said: “The International Newspaper
Marketing Association has looked at 16 papers that have done this and
every single one has got a five per cent increase in circulation.”

Kempe
added: “There’s debate inside newsrooms about the internet and most
people see it going two ways. One of them says that print is finished
and that everything is going on the internet and the other is that
print will never lose its value and that the internet will never have
the same value for people as print.

What we are saying is we don’t think it’s either or we think it’s both.”

The size change is being combined with offers designed to encourage readers to take out both print and online subscriptions.

A
“small number” of editorial jobs will be cut as a result of the change,
but these are expected to be transferred to a new weekend edition
published on Saturdays for the first time in the US.

As part of the new design it is expected that fewer stories will jump from page to page, as is currently the case.

Many
of the lists of market figures will be transferred to WSJ.com, but the
newspaper is expected to maintain the same story count.

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