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Belfast broadsheet turns totally tabloid

The Belfast Telegraph will go completely tabloid from tomorrow, the paper announced today.

The daily’s four afternoon editions will all be downsized to compact versions, bringing to an end nearly 139 years of broadsheet printing.

Bel Tel editor Martin Lindsay, left, said: “Over the past year we have carried out extensive research amongst our readers to find out their likes and dislikes about the Belfast Telegraph.

“Answering a range of questions about content, format and style, the overwhelming majority of respondents gave a thumbs up for our news content, praised our features and columnists and described the paper as both informative and entertaining.

“But repeatedly the comment came back that the broadsheet size was awkward, too big to handle and that they had got used to and liked the more manageable compact format available in the morning and Saturday editions.”

The new-look edition has been marketed via TV, radio and outdoor ads and will also contain an expanded health and lifestyle section and new 24-page sports pullout on Mondays.

It follows similar switches in the past week by the Reading Chronicle and Darlington and Stockton Times.

The Telegraph has been printed as a broadsheet since September 1870 and the compact format was first introduced just over four years ago with a new Saturday morning edition.

A month later the daily ‘am’ edition downsized and from tomorrow city, final, county and north west editions will all be printed in tabloid format.

Martin added: “Our parent company Independent News & Media began the compact revolution in quality newspapers with The Independent back in 2003.

“The adoption of a wholly compact format is a natural development for the company. With strong support both externally and internally we are ready to enter a new era.”