Tuesday, January 13, 2009

OT: Tribune to publish tabloid format papers

Phil Rosenthal reports that the Chicago Tribune, hoping to improve its sales (and perhaps hoping for the demise of the Sun-Times?), is going to sell its retail edition (meaning non-home delivery) in a tabloid format. Home delivery customers will still get the broadsheet format, albeit the narrower version adopted by most all broadsheets.

I can't help but think of Jim Traficant, the now-jailed ex-Congressman who used to say on the floor of the House: "Beam me up."

The Trib already publishes the Red Eye, a tab directed at younger folks. But the additional publishing costs are still there and you have to wonder aloud if the paper intends to eventually go to the tabloid format completely with time. (Some would argue the new format is better suited to a tab anyway; I canceled my life-long subscription in response to it and don't miss the paper one bit.)

I will say that a tab is easier to read than a broadsheet on a bus or a train, thus making the format sensical for commuters, but I also will wager a nickel some people will be outraged by this one. All I can say is that this is quite a bet.