Philadelphia newspapers shrink page widths to cut newsprint costs

Journalists at Philadelphia’s dailies received this we’re-shrinking memo today from Inquirer editor Bill Marimow and executive editor Stan Wischnowski:

Date: August 22, 2012 11:21:46 AM EDT
Subject: Note from Bill and Stan

To the staff:

In mid-November, the company will be converting the page width of the Inquirer (and Daily News) in an effort to reduce our newsprint costs and also provide more commercial printing opportunities at SPP. Like hundreds of newspapers across the country, including major metros such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Miami Herald, we will adopt a narrower web width of 44 inches, down from the current 48-inch width.

With narrower column widths we will have fewer lines of type per column on each page. Thus, we will need to be much more judicious with our story lengths given the compressed space. This change will also require us to make some slight design adjustments to ensure maximum readability, particularly as it pertains to things such as page flags, sports and business agate, comics, puzzles and the way we use half-column mug shots and breakouts.

Heading up this initiative in the newsroom are Steve Glynn (making all the necessary template changes) and Kevin Burkett (making some design upgrades) with support from several others.

Thanks in advance for your help with this important initiative.

Bill and Stan