"Our goal is to create a more compelling and convenient experience for readers, while improving the effectiveness of advertising," said N. Christian Anderson III, president of Oregonian Media Group.
The compact newspaper measures about 15 inches tall by 11 inches wide – the same size as the Portland Business Journal. The Oregonian's Homes & Gardens section, featured in the Saturday edition, is already printed in the compact format. The new format will be the same width as the current Oregonian broadsheet format, but several inches shorter.
“The new format will allow for a stronger visual presentation of editorial content and advertising,” Anderson said. “With color on every page and a streamlined design, the compact will be a richer experience for our readers.
“Advertisements will have greater impact with full color and page dominance,” he said.
The new format will continue to have individual sections, which will be stapled, or “stitched.” The smaller size, combined with stitching, makes the paper easier to hold and easier to read. There will be fewer story breaks within articles, allowing for more immersive, uninterrupted reading, and sections will be color-coded for easier navigation.
Select sections will be moving to the new format in February, including A&E, Foodday, Living, Health & Fitness, Travel, Business and Opinion. All sections will be converted by April 2. The Oregonian will produce a Readers Guide prior to April 2, available in print and online, to familiarize readers with the new format.
Every page of the compact edition will be printed in full color, including advertisements, obituaries and daily comics. Articles can incorporate magazine-style spreads. Type size will remain the same as in the broadsheet format.
Despite the differences in design, the paper’s content will not change. However, readers will notice a reorganization of some sections. News will be combined into a single section, featuring important local stories flowing to state, regional and international news content. Sports will be a separate section, as will Business on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The Wednesday edition will combine Living, Foodday and Health & Fitness, while The Sunday Oregonian merges A&E, Living and Travel.
"The traditional broadsheet format was due for an upgrade," said Peter Bhatia, Oregonian Media Group's vice president of content. "Today's readers want a more convenient and efficient way to consume the news that matters to them. With the new compact format, we're presenting the same quality journalism in a smarter package.
“The Oregonian will continue to highlight the best of our content from OregonLive.com, where we post continuously,” Bhatia said.
“The switch to compact will be a boon to advertisers, as well,” Anderson noted. “The new design promotes better ad visibility and creates more opportunities for high-impact advertising.”
The compact format is widely used in Europe and elsewhere. Many newspapers have shown circulation gains; research shows the compact format delivers higher reader engagement, increased attention to ads and increased ad effectiveness.
Broadsheet ad sizes will be converted to their compact equivalent, so ads will still occupy the same percentage of the page they do today. Advertising inserts will remain the same and will still be delivered inside the newspaper. Advertisers will not need to sign new contracts with Oregonian Media Group, and advertising rates will not change as a result of the new format.
"For 163 years, The Oregonian has changed to keep pace with the needs and expectations of our readers and advertisers," said Anderson. "Our latest redesign is just the next step in the paper's ongoing evolution."