The Chicago Tribune announced today that it will begin offering a tabloid version of its newspaper on newsstands and in newspaper boxes downtown. The article reads:
The Tribune’s move, replacing its broadsheet edition with the tabloid version at the retail level, is an aggressive bet that a switch in size will improve sales … “Many news consumers have asked for a more convenient version of the paper that contains all of the same great news and information. Starting Monday, we’ll give them what they’ve asked for,” Tony Hunter, the Chicago Tribune Media Group’s president, publisher and chief executive, said in a statement. “Companies succeed when they leverage strong brands and respond to customer feedback.”
One of the reasons I subscribe to the other Chicago paper is because it’s smaller and easier to read on the train. The other reason is because I feel a duty to support the second newspaper in one of the last two-newspaper towns in America. So, this new format probably won’t make me switch to the Trib. But I wonder if many other people will change papers as a result.
Really, though, does any of this matter? Printing on tabloid instead of broadsheet isn’t going to change the fact that most people read the paper on their computers or phones anyway. And everyone else reads the Tribune-published RedEye because it’s compact and free. So, won’t the Tribune’s new format compete with its own sister publication? And, considering the Tribune recently filed for bankruptcy, doesn’t increasing press runs seem like a move in the wrong direction?