The New York Times is shrinking itself by an inch and a half. That’s not nearly enough. I keep wishing they’d turn tabloid, as most of the papers in London have done to good effect in circulation. Now in New York, I can pick up the Times of London in tabloid (or compact, if you prefer) — not to mention two new freebie competitors — and it’s so much more convenient. In the Times story today, executive editor Bill Keller positioned it this way: “It’s painful to watch an industry retrench. But this is a much less painful way to go about assuring our economic survival than cutting staff or closing foreign bureaus or retrenching our investigative reporting or diluting the Washington bureau.” But this doesn’t have to be a move of retrenchment. The UK papers made it a move to expand and improve the experience and it worked. I’m not sure why American publishers are so damned stubborn about this. I guess they don’t try to read their own papers on the subway.
by Jeff Jarvis