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Old 08-06-2007, 01:20 PM   #1
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Default New York Times reduces page size

Today’s New York Times page is 12-inches wide instead of 13.5 inches. According to the small notice to readers, this is the “national newspaper 12-inch standard” size (12 inches wide by 22 inches high).

I suppose readers should not mind. It isn’t much of a change. But it is in the wrong direction.

The notice says: “The move cuts newsprint expenses.” I guess so — each page is now about 11% smaller in area.

It also says they have made design tweaks to “preserve the look and texture of The Times, with all existing features and sections and somewhat fewer words per page.”

Quite a few fewer words in some places. The front page now has six 10.5-pica columns (compared to six 12-pica columns last week). That is about 12.5% less text than before, and shorter lines are less efficient, so the hit is probably greater than 12.5%.

The Op-Ed page now has five 12.5-pica columns (was six 12-pica columns), down about 13%.

Editorials got wider (about 5% more space). The rest of the editorial page is letters to the editor. These went from three 12-pica columns to two 12.7-pica columns, amounting to a 29% reduction in space (“about a third,” according to the note on the page).

About this, The Times notes: “Don’t worry. We are making up for the lost space in the printed paper by expanding the letters section on our web site, where space is not an issue, and looking for ways to add space for letters on our pages.”

They have just begun a version of the online Times that can be read on a small screen reader (Windows only; subscribers only). I guess they are convinced that they can do well by pushing readers to the web. I am not so sure.

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