Mercer Island Reporter switches to tabloid format in print May 19 | Editorial

For more than 50 years, the Reporter has been delivering Island news of importance both great and small. The look and feel of the paper has changed over time with the addition and enhancement of color, higher-quality newsprint and better reproduction processes. Yet, the size of the paper and its revenues have shrunk as the Internet has siphoned advertising from print. Now the economic crisis has taken its toll on how much businesses will pay for advertising in light of their own struggles. Ultimately, the amount of content and the size of the paper is a direct result of the amount of paid advertising placed in it. It is hard not to miss that the paper is smaller. Publishers have worked hard to rein in costs to make up the difference without changing or scrimping on the editorial content. In 2003, the Reporter was made slightly narrower to accommodate the sky-high cost of newsprint and higher production costs then.

In response to these trends and to keep the newspaper fresh and relevant to our readers, the look of the Mercer Island Reporter will be very different beginning May 19. The Reporter will be moving from what is termed a broadsheet format to that of “tab” format, tab being shorthand for tabloid. The Mercer Island Reporter is the last of our parent Sound Publishing’s 32 newspapers to go to this new look.

Why this change?

It is cheaper to run this standardized format on Sound Publishing’s big press in Everett. In addition, the new configuration will allow us to have more color on more pages. And, finally, newspapers that have made this shift in cities and communities across the country have found that readers are pleased with the change. Advertisers like the new format with its updated look and have begun to return to print advertising.

The cost of the Reporter on both the newsstand and for subscribers will remain the same. The paper will still come out on Wednesdays and be mailed to subscriber homes. We are looking forward to the change — and trust that it will allow us to continue to serve our readers. We hope to keep Islanders further involved by offering more options to share news, ideas and even photos. See our ‘Eye on MI’ contest on our Web site, www.mi-reporter.com.

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