Chicago Tribune drops tabloid edition

Chicago Tribune
The tabloid version of the Tribune has been sold on newsstands and in boxes since January 2009. When the edition was launched, the paper’s media reporter called the move “an aggressive bet that a switch in size will improve sales.” The Tribune recently added more pages to its print edition, and says “we believe those enhancements, which included the addition of 44 full news pages per week, are best displayed in the larger page afforded by the broadsheet format.” The elimination of the tabloid will help the Tribune streamline operations, reduce costs, and focus on its core broadsheet edition and new digital initiatives, according to the company. || Rick Edmonds in 2009: Three benefits of the switch (and some questions, too).

The memo is after the jump.

Memo to Chicago Tribune employees:

Colleagues:

The Chicago Tribune’s broadsheet edition will return to newsstands on Sept. 5, replacing the tabloid edition.

As you know, we launched in June an expanded Chicago Tribune designed to meet the expectations of our loyal readers who love the experience of the printed newspaper.

We invested significantly in the newspaper to bring readers 44 additional full news pages per week in local, investigative, business, world and nation, opinion and entertainment news coverage.

These enhancements, we believe, are best displayed on the larger pages afforded by the broadsheet format. The broadsheet format projects the image we wish to convey to consumers: The Chicago Tribune is the premier newspaper for readers who are serious about the news.

More than 90 percent of our newspaper subscribers are home-delivery customers who get the broadsheet edition, while only a small number of single-copy readers pick up our tabloid edition on the newsstand. Elimination of the tabloid helps us streamline operations, reduce costs, and thereby support investments in our broadsheet edition and on the web.

Our overall news and distribution strategy is rapidly evolving. Concurrent with the launch of the expanded print edition, we redesigned chicagotribune.com, focusing it more on breaking news. We also launched a new app that allows readers to get the Tribune on iPads. These digital formats give consumers increased access to Tribune news on mobile devices 24 hours a day.

Reaction to the bigger, better printed Chicago Tribune has been overwhelmingly positive. Most of you have heard similar praise from friends, neighbors and acquaintances. The expanded news coverage and beautiful new design are helping drive our circulation revenue and retention goals, which is good news indeed.

I am extraordinarily proud of the vision, passion and dedication that employees in all departments are investing in the enhanced Chicago Tribune.

Gerry Kern

SVP/Editor

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