About that redesign at the state’s largest paper:
- It’s not really that much narrower than before (although a 44-inch web is clearly on the slender side), but the bar down the right side of the front page well, vertical stripes are slimming, guys.
- I haven’t decided if the fonts are actually better, but they certainly reek less of the 1970s. In some bylines, though, the font for the reporter’s email address is sized right down there with the disclosures on a MasterCard application.
- Well, yes, it looks a lot like USA Today. But USA Today moves a hell of a lot of copies, and if there’s one thing a daily newspaper needs to do these days, it’s move a hell of a lot of copies.
Incidentally, it wasn’t just the Oklahoman with a new look this week: the Chicago Tribune‘s redesign debuted on Monday, and the Hartford Courant introduced its new face on Sunday. A slideshow of the new Trib is up at Visual Editors. The Courant, incidentally, has a vertical nameplate, something I once considered for this site. (See the new Courant front page here.) Now that’s skinny.
But how narrow is too narrow? One viewpoint:
“Newspapers are trying to save money any way they can,” said Jim Gore, vice president and general manager of Pressline Services. “If they can get an 8 percent savings (by cutting page size from 12 inches to 11 inches) they are going to take that bite from the savings apple. And they are willing to spend 25 or 30 percent (of the cost of a new press) to rebuild or make modifications in order to keep their existing press going for another 10 years.
“Having said that, I think papers are getting pretty close” at how far they will eventually go to narrow their pages. “But the bottom line is when the publisher can’t stand to look at the paper anymore.”
And somehow I doubt E. K. Gaylord is doing any subterranean RPMs.