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New-look Echo packs in twice the content

The Express & Echo in Exeter has unveiled a new design which fits in twice as many news stories as before.

The changes follow research which showed readers liked the paper but wanted even more local news.

By packing more in, the Echo expects to better serve what is a diverse and varied patch.

The story count on each page has been increased by using smaller headline fonts and switching from caps to upper and lower case, and the design is now content-led and easier on the eye.

  • Each page is now packed with stories
  • Editor Marc Astley, who rejoined the paper last October after previously working there in the mid-1990s, said: “Since arriving in Exeter the message I received from readers was consistent – they liked what we did but wanted more of it.

    “However, we have a significant challenge here in that we serve dozens of micro-communities, all very different from one another in terms of their geography and demographic make-up.

    “Because of this, we really do have to be many things to many people. In an earlier role at the Echo as news editor eight years ago, I recall we produced seven editions a day!

    “Previously, the Echo was very much design-led which meant we just weren’t packing enough copy onto the pages.”

  • How the pages used to look
  • Deputy editor Tim Dixon and assistant editor Andy Howard led a team that began work on the redesign just before Christmas.

    The changes also include a revamped weekend leisure section, with new pages dedicated to shopping, fashion, homes and entertainment.

    Marc said: “In constructing the dummy pages we took the content of Thursday April 6’s newspaper to see how it would translate into the new design.

    “Interestingly we found that all the filler copy had been accommodated as early as page six.

    “Consequently we took almost all of the following day’s filler and found room for that as well.

    “The feedback so far has been very positive. I’ve had many e-mails and letters congratulating us on the new look and not one complaint.”