Newspaper talk | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Newspaper talk

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 11:19 AM

KATV did a roundup on the newspaper industry last night -- including coverage of Roy Reed's Clinton School reading from his book drawn from the Arkansas Gazette oral history; the Pine Bluff Commercial's end of Monday home delivery, and an interview with Democrat-Gazette Publisher Walter Hussman on the daily's steps to cope with the difficult economic climate. Hussman added a new potential cost reduction in the interview, a trim in the dimensions of the paper (not number of pages, but width of the page):

Arkansas' largest daily, the Democrat-Gazette has also made cutbacks in recent months. Publisher Walter Hussman says circulation is actually up, but that the paper may soon go to a smaller size.

(Walter Hussman, WEHCO Media) "Most of the newspapers in the country today are smaller than we are,  the NY Times, the WSJ, and we're probably going to a similar format. It won't be a big change, but a small change saves a lot of money."

It's unclear if this move is a sure thing and when it would take place. We haven't been able to get in touch with any D-G officials yet. When the New York Times reduced the width of its pages in 2006, it said the 1.5-inch reduction would have meant an 11 percent reduction in space devoted to news. But to avoid that drastic a cut, the newspaper said it had added additional pages to each day's edition to produce a reduction of only 5 percent in area devoted to news.

UPDATE: D-G General Manager Paul Smith says the change is anticipated by fall, a reduction of less than an inch in width. With a change in margins and leading of type, Smith said the paper hopes to avoid a loss of news hole, while achieving an 8 percent reduction in newsprint cost. The paper made a similar reduction about five years ago.

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