Skip to comments.Chicago Tribune Debuts New Format (I hate it. Really dumbed down. Sun-times seems high-brow now.)
Posted on 10/02/2008 3:10:29 PM PDT by prolifefirst
CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- The Chicago Tribune debuted a dramatically new look, revamping itself in order to comply with a Tribune Co. dictate to have advertising account for at least 50% of the paper every day.
The new Tribune is bolder, more graphics-centered and looks similar to many European newspapers.
The new paper collapses the front, local and business sections into a single section, and adds a bolder, more graphics-centered look similar to many European newspapers. It also bears a stronger resemblance to the paper's youth-targeted RedEye edition, which may not be a coincidence: RedEye's founding editors, Jane Hirt and Joe Knowles, have been promoted to the main edition's managing editor and assistant managing editor for presentation roles, respectively.
The Trib touted the changes with a large banner proclaiming "A whole new day" on its Michigan Avenue headquarters. Many employees were spotted around the tower wearing T-shirts with the new slogan as well.
Proactive on PR The paper also seemed to be wagering that some readers would prefer yesterday's larger news hole. Last Friday, editors distributed talking points for newsroom employees to use in the event they have to field customer calls. (The paper's main switchboard message also offered a feedback survey number for those calling in to complain about, or to praise, the new look.)
The memo, from a Tribune editor to the newsroom staff, reads:
We're looking forward to lots of reaction to our redesigned paper beginning on Monday.
Editorial coordinators in each department have been trained to talk with readers and tally their comments. This information will be collected by the customer relations team so that we can fully understand input from the readers who contact us.
If you get calls and e-mail, you can:
-- Forward them to one of the people listed below.
-- Handle the call/e-mail yourself.
The very high-level message is this: The Tribune remains committed to our core journalistic values. We will continue to deliver accurate, courageous and ground-breaking reporting.
After speaking with the caller, be sure to send an e-mail to ctc-publiceditor with a brief report on the reader's reaction. (Didn't like ... this, that, this. Did like ... this, that, this.)
A call to Tribune Publisher Tony Hunter wasn't immediately returned.
I have little interest in getting it now.
It’s chaotic in layout; seems to have half the news as before; and gives short shrift to sports along with everything else.
No way this works.
So much for "Proactive on PR"!
In the Public Information world, the rule used to be information was presented at a 7th grade level.
It has now dropped to a 5th grade level.
Chicago Tribune is just adjusting to their clientele... ;)
The Los Angeles Times used to have one of the most professional looking formats I had seen. (Contents? Ick!) The other day I happened to see one of their papers for the first time in many years. It looked terrible.
I know what you mean by dumbed down.
You probably know the LA Times is owned by the Chicago Tribune.
Seems as if all the problems started when it was sold from conservative management to a left-leaning ownership decades ago, and the content changed accordingly.
Yes. It’s too bad they didn’t learn from what they did in L.A. Perhaps they did. Perhaps this is the only way they can sell those papers these days. Folks who appreciate format, have probably moved on to the internet.
Wasteful, too. Environmentally destructive. Fewer words per tree.
Maybe this is a Hail Mary.
The new owner, Sam Zell, is a take charge guy and realizes that they have to do something dramatically different.
To me it looks like the new format has little chance of succeeding, but the old approach was definitively a sinking ship.
Well I hope Zell’s efforts pay off. I’ll root for any guy that is trying to make a go of a small business. It’s good for the community.
They’re trying to be a website on paper, geared towards the ignorant, barely educated illiterati.
I cancelled them years ago and whenever the call to get me to resubscribe...I laugh in their fone face!
I loved Weekly Reader when I was in grade school and now it looks like I can buy it's competitor at the news stand.