Nearly 200 years of broadsheet publishing has come to an end this week with the final edition of the Reading Chronicle in larger format.
From next Thursday the independently-owned Chronicle, which dates back to 1825, will switch to a compact, tabloid size – a decision taken in response to overwhelming demand from readers and advertisers.
Editor-in-chief Sally Stevens, who started with Chronicle straight from school before returning as editor 18 months ago, said: “We had a very clear message from our readers that they liked the Chronicle’s balanced and considered reporting and did not want a ‘tabloid’ newspaper.
“They just wanted a Chronicle that they could handle. We were so determined to keep the Chronicle that we’ve not reinvented the paper with the same name.
“The story count will remain the same but pages have from gone from 32 in broadsheet to 72 in tabloid.
“From an advertising point of view, there’s been an upsurge in interest.”
Dummy pages were drawn up and taken out to regular readers and advertisers to canvass opinion with the response welcoming the fact it still felt like their Chronicle.
Sally said the switch to tabloid had been considered before but now seemed like the right time to introduce the new size.
Promotion and marketing of the new format has been done through local radio advertising and a huge banner (above) which will put up in Reading this Sunday under the motto ‘Smaller on the outside, bigger on the inside’.
“As an independently-owned company, we have been able to react to changing communities and the growth of our area,” added Sally.
“This feels the right thing to do and that what our readers and advertisers are telling us.”
This week’s final broadsheet front page
A dummy front page of the new compact look