Media Magazine

Wall Street Journal: from Tabloid to Broadsheet

Posted on the 18 September 2015 by Themarioblog @garciainteract
This is the weekend edition of TheMarioBlog and will be updated as needed. The next blog post is Monday, September 21
Wall Street Journal: from tabloid to broadsheetWall Street Journal: from tabloid to broadsheet Wall Street Journal: from tabloid to broadsheetWall Street Journal: from tabloid to broadsheet
New global edition of The Wall Street Journal is back to broadsheet format
Wall Street Journal: from tabloid to broadsheetWall Street Journal: from tabloid to broadsheet
Here is the before and after when we converted the WSJ Europe and Asia from broadsheet to tabloid in 2005

I am looking at this new larger edition of The Wall Street Journal aboard a Singapore Airlines flight from Manila to Singapore.  For a moment, I think that I have the US edition in my hands, which is, of course, broadsheet. I do a double take, look at the folio lines, then remember that this is the new WSJ for its global editions.

I am quite familiarized with the WSJ and, in fact, have been honored to have been a consultant with its team at various junctions, including the conversion of the Europe and Asia editions from broadsheet to tabloids in 2005.

This is what I wrote about that groundbreaking conversion for the WSJ Europe and Asia:

“In a wireless world that is always “on”, readers want the portability and convenience of a small format, as well as the online ability to access important information whenever, wherever. Advertisers want new formats, such as are available in compact newspapers, and more efficient ways to reach readers.

“The Wall Street Journal’s conversion to “compact” will offer both readers and advertisers the best of the print and online worlds. Of the hundreds of newspapers I have designed over the last four decades, these international editions are the most groundbreaking: they are truly integrated print/online publications designed to provide unsurpassed news and insight, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I must say that I was quite surprised to hear that one of my favorite newspapers was going from small to large. We at Garcia Media have participated in the conversion of 23 newspaper titles from broadsheet to tabloid. I admit that this is the firs time that one of those has reverted to the larger size.

But, heck, it is all about change, and the WSJ execs must have very good reasons to make this move.  After all, this is better than killing the print edition entirely.

The new marketing for a bigger (and better?) edition of the WSJ

Wall Street Journal: from tabloid to broadsheetWall Street Journal: from tabloid to broadsheet
Full page ad inside the new WSJ to promote the new and bigger product

Now the larger WSJ has hit the market as the international edition.  In its own house ads, the WSJ promotes this edition with an invitation to readers to “experience the new WSJ: your newly expanded global edition.”

The promotion highlights “news you can trust, scoops you can’t miss,” and “a richer, more valuable experience”.  More is better, so to speak.

There is “broader coverage, deeper insight”, and, finally “a more cultured Journal.”

The add emphasizes print, a way of highlighting the new, larger format. That, too, surprised me, as we don't see too many marketing campaigns with big print newspaper pages as the main event.

This revamp will also include new iPad and Android editions for subscribers.

Gerard Baker, editor-in-chief of the WSJ, said that the move to a single global broadsheet edition will mean about 50% more news content.

“The single global edition will be based around the US edition but will be adapted for the two separate regional readerships,” said Baker in a note to the staff, quoted in The Guardian.

Once inside this edition, it is a replica of the design used by the US edition. It will appear as a two-section daily from Monday to Thursday, and include a third section each Friday featuring the Journal’s ‘Off Duty’ lifestyle content about food, travel, and fashion – as well as its ‘Mansion’ section about global luxury real estate. WSJ. magazine, its luxury lifestyle publication, will also be distributed with the newspaper once a month.

The WSJ Europe and Asia had a great run as a tabloid for a decade, and, as a person close to the WSJ operations told me:
“I don’t think those editions would have survived if they had not moved to a tabloid format at that particular time.”

More about our work with the WSJ

TheMarioBlog post # 1406
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