Monday, October 17, 2005
Wall Street Journal Europe and Asia: Partnerships with major newspapers
Today, as the Wall Street Journal's European and Asian edition relaunch in a new design and a compact format, the two editions also start partnerships with major Asian and European newspapers. A new section, called "Across Europe" and "Across Asia" respectively, will feature content from each five major newspapers in the area, reports Media Week. The sections will appear on the European and Asian home page of the Wall Street Journal and are a further attempt to integrate the print and online versions of the paper.
The European section will feature headlines from the French paper Le Figaro, Die Welt from Germany, Milano Finanza from Italy, the Swiss Handelszeitung and The Times from the UK. The Asian section will feature headlines from the Sydney Morning Herald from Australia, the China Daily from China, the South China Morning Post from Hong Kong, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun from Japan and The Nation from Thailand. Every day, there will be one headline from each of the partners displayed in English. Users will be able to click through to the individual sites of the different partners and read the full story. An English version will be provided. Furthermore, the sections will include a country-by-country search function for additional coverage by The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires.
Bill Grueskin, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Online, said, "We're very pleased to be partnering with these prestigious publications around the world and to be able to offer their take on some of the key business stories of the day. This will enable us to provide a broader set of stories to our readers and help us build upon our reputation as an aggregator of quality content for businesspeople with a global perspective. Conversely, partner publications get the benefit of having high-value traffic driven to their sites from WSJ.com."
Today's redesign tries to integrate the paper's print and online version (see former posting). Other changes include links in the print edition to the online edition, additional "in-depth" material online etc. Subscribers will also be able to receive news from WSJ.com via BlackBerry or other mobile devices. A small part of the site's free content will be available to bloggers and other users via RSS feeds.
International Herald Tribune expands business section
The International Herald Tribune plans to introduce a new section called "Marketplace" that will expand its business sections, reported AP on Friday. Material for the new section will be provided by financial news company Bloomberg LP. It is the second time that the paper has cooperated with Bloomberg. The Asian edition of the International Herald Tribune already has a weekday section called "Business of Asia by Bloomberg".
Marketplace, planned to start at the beginning of November, will consist of 4 pages and cover company and market focused news. The section will appear Monday to Friday and be distributed across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas and on the paper's website. New staff has been hired to produce the section. The new Marketplace section will provide space for more targeted financial advertising.
Der Spiegel reports that the move is also an attack on the Wall Street Journal, whose European and Asian editions switch to a compact format today (see previous posting). While the Wall Street Journal shrinks, the International Herald Tribune is doubling its business section. Commenting on the design changes at the Wall Street Journal, Michael Oreskes, editor-in-chief of the International Herald Tribune, said in Der Spiegel that he wishes the Wall Street Journal success with its attempts to save money. He has watched the tabloid experiments of many newspapers with curiosity. But the philosophy of his paper is to offer readers more rather than less, even if that means initial losses.
For some time the International Herald Tribune has been trying to win readers from the leading business papers the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. Since 2003, when the paper was fully acquired by the New York Times Company, it has introduced several new sections and hired business editors and correspondents, reports Der Spiegel.
Friday, October 14, 2005
The Grey Lady to shrink format?
The New York Times, currently with a width of 14 inches, is "considering going to a smaller width, but had not made a decision", the paper reported on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal had announced to reduce the width of its U.S. edition (see previous posting). Both moves are connected to the rising newsprint price (see former posting).
The New York Post writes that in all, the Times' "shrinkage would save more than $22 million a year in raw materials". It looks like Pelle Anderson's prediction that the Gray Lady will be transformed into a compact might come true one day. Newspaper designer Anderson said in September, "I think the future will make a liar out of Sulzberger. The New York Times will certainly be transformed into a compact format ... The derogatory term 'tabloid journalism' has largely lost its meaning in the rest of the world, and it will do so in New York as well, when the time comes for the grey old lady to slim dow" (see former posting).
Monday, October 03, 2005
US: Newspaper stops publishing compact edition
Although the current trend in the newspaper industry is towards smaller formats, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is swimming against the tide and has stopped its tabloid edition, according to NewsDesigner.com. The paper had started producing the compact version last spring.
However, the paper also learned from the compact experiment and will change its (broadsheet) paper according to what readers liked in the compact edition. John Kirkpatrick, editor and publisher, writes in the last edition of the compact The Patriot, "While many people did like the compact format, it didn't catch on the way we had hoped. We did, however gather some valuable information about our readers' preferences along the way. Many people told us they liked the added color in our compact edition, as well as other features, so we'll be adding those things to The Patriot-News in the coming weeks and months. For busy readers, we'll be bringing you more news than ever - with breaking local news 24 hours a day - on our sister web site, PennLive.com."
Friday, September 30, 2005
France: Le Figaro slims down in new design
The French daily Le Figaro will appear completely redesigned as of Monday. "It's not a revolution, it's an evolution", said Francis Morel, general director at Le Figaro, reports Le Monde. The goal is to increase readership, especially among women and younger readers (average age of reader is said to be 55-57 years) and to encourage occasional readers to become regular ones. After research with readers and several dummies, the new design will start on Monday, October 3.
The changes include: The paper will be 3,4 cm narrower. The new logo is "European blue". The paper will consist of 3 sections. The first sections will cover international news, Europe and France. The second section, which will be printed on salmon paper will be dedicated to the economy and the third part will cover subjects as culture, fashion, free time, lifestyle and wellness. Much space will be dedicated to photographs and infographics. And also the website will be redesigned. The relaunch is said to have cost 5 million Euro. The papers cover price of 1 Euro will stay the same. Imédias has a photo of the a front page in the new design. See here.
Le Figaro, the oldest newspaper of the country, was founded as a weekly in 1826 and has appeared as a daily since 1866. It has a circulation of about 326,700, currently more than competitor Le Monde, reports Der Standard.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Middle East: Mixed reactions to new compacts
One week ago, two new newspapers in compact format launched in the United Arab Emirates (see previous posting). The two papers were finally called Emirates Today for the English edition and Al Emarat Al Youm for the Arab edition. It seems that the new papers prompted mixed reactions. As Campaign Middle East reports, Gavin Dickinson, commercial director at the Arab Media Group which publishes the two newspapers, said that the launch was an "unqualified success, but admitted there had been problems with the paper’s reproduction in the first issue."
According to Campaign Middle East especially the reproduction quality and the papers' mixture of international and local news were criticized, while other features were praised. Charif Wehbe, partner at Face to Face Public Relations, said, "The Arabic-language version is the real news here. Launching a tabloid-style image-led daily is revolutionary for the UAE. It was only a matter of time before someone figured out that the new generation of Arab readers also have less time to read cumbersome broadsheets stuffed with endless columns of print." David Sheridan, regional director at MindShare, a media agency, said, "The lack of navigational aids through this initial news melee needs sorting but the paper redeems itself with clear, colour-coded sections that may, in time, have appeal, particularly to women ... while I am not expecting challenging reporting in the early days, I do hope that it will develop a cutting edge in its editorial, otherwise I may question what more am I getting from Emirates Today for AED2 (US$0.5) than I get from 7Days for free?"
Comments to our previous posting point to the same direction. One comment stated that there was "Nothing earthshaking about the paper. One of my friends said he would still prefer to pay Dirham 1 for The Emirates Evening Post. The price of Emirates Today is Dirhams 2, but right now given away free ... One has to wait and see how the battles shape up." Another comment told, "I expected a lot more from these two publications ... After two days of the new kids on the block I am still waiting to read something better than is already out there."
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
European free papers up 3.5 million (33%) in first nine months of 2005
Piet Bakker, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam and Free Daily Newspaper guru once again helps out the Editors Weblog with an informative posting on free papers:
Free newspapers in Europe boosted their distribution from 11 million at end 2004 to 14.5 million in September 2005 due to the launch of new titles and editions and increased distribution of existing papers. The increase in the first nine months of 2005 (+33%) was already more than the increase in the whole year 2004 (+20%). New titles were introduced in Spain (Ahora, Que!), Denmark (Xtra), Iceland (Bladid), the UK (MEN Lite, FTpm, City A.M.), Latvia (5Min) and Lithuania (15min) while more editions of existing titles were launched in Portugal (Destak, Metro), France (20 Minutes, Metro), Italy (Metro, Leggo & City), Spain (Metro, 20 Minutos), the Netherlands (Metro) and Switzerland (20 Minuten).
In almost every country existing editions also increased their distribution. The new launches and expansions resulted in distribution growth all over Europe. In Spain distribution of free papers almost doubled to 3.6 million (+98%) while in Iceland circulation grew by 77% to 180.000. But also in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland distributions' increased with 20% or more.
With dropping circulation of paid newspapers, the share of free papers increased dramatically over the last years. In Iceland 76% of newspaper circulation consists of free papers, in Spain almost half (46%) of the circulation is free. Other countries with a major market share of free papers are Italy (30%), Portugal (31%), Greece (27%), Denmark and Sweden (20%), the Netherlands (19%), France, Hungary and Switzerland (17%).
And there is more to come, when free papers are launched in Germany in 2005, distribution will rise with 2.5 million at first and 4 million later. But even without the German launches European distribution will rise to 16 million because there are plans for Ireland (Metro and Herald Metro), the UK (fourth London free paper), the Czech Republic (Swiss publisher Ringier & national Metro edition), Spain (more 20 Minutes editions), Switzerland (Le Blue Matin & 20 Minutes Lausanne/Geneva), Spain (Planeta Group) and Austria (Schibsted, Metro and local publishers). In short: doubling of total free European distribution within one year is very well possible.
Source: Piet Bakker, Free Daily Newspapers
Monday, September 19, 2005
Metro becomes the third most read paper in the world
Gaceta de Prensa reports that the free paper Metro, which just had its tenth birthday, now distributes more than 6 million copies a day which are read by almost 17 million people, making it the world's third most read paper behind Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun and the Asahi Shimbun. It must be kept in mind, however, that Metro has achieved this number by publishing 57 editions in 81 cities in 18 countries, whereas most high-selling papers are published regionally with very few publishing internationally.
Source: Gaceta de Prensa (in Spanish)
Thursday, September 15, 2005
UK: Guardian sales skyrocket with format change
According to unofficial figures, sales of the Guardian rose by 40% on Monday, the first day the paper appeared in the Berliner format (see former posting), reports The Guardian. Carolyn McCall, chief executive of Guardian Newspapers Ltd. said in the paper: "We invested a huge amount in encouraging readers to reappraise the paper. This has exceeded our highest expectations. We are delighted."
Readers' feedback is said to be broadly positive, with one exception: some readers were angered by the drop of the comic strip Doonesbury (see Journalism.co.uk). This decision was reversed in the meantime.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Denmark: paper to attract readers with "lifestyle" inserts
An article on Poynter by Ernst Poulsen links us to a Danish newspaper that is taking innovative strides at integrating news and entertainment in the same package . As of the end of the year, the Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten will transform its sections such as travel and sports into magazine-style inserts with "articles that focus on meeting readers' needs." It will continue printing national, international and business news in its traditional first section. The paper's editor explained that lack of time in the morning prevents people from really reading the paper and by the time they get back to it in the afternoon, the news is already a day old and they have probably got the information from the Internet, TV or radio at some point between breakfast and dinner. The logical solution was to add sections that would entice readers to pick up the paper again in the afternoon - and maybe they would even browse through the first section at the same time.
In closing, Poulsen, points out that during the past 10-20 years, they have "moved toward providing more analysis and lifestyle and less 'instant' news. It may be that newspapers survive -- without the news." This is certainly a feasible situation and the move towards tabloid-sized papers may be the start.