‘Charlotte Observer’ Trims Its Margins

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By: E&P Staff

Beginning with this morning’s papers, the Charlotte Observer began the process of cutting back on its width, following a move other newspapers have made in the past year.

“For weeks, our pressroom and newsroom have worked to convert the Observer to a new page width narrowed by 3/4 of an inch,” editor Rick Thames wrote in a statement today on the Observer’s Web site. More than half of the newspapers published Tuesday were in the new, narrow format, Thames wrote, with the remainder scheduled to be converted in the next two weeks.

The Observer is the latest in a series of papers to publish in the new format. Other notable papers who have made the change include The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

In his statement, Thames acknowledged that the change had been made to help the paper save money in challenging economic times. “Newspapers do this to reduce the newsprint necessary for each edition,” he wrote. “That saves on costs at a time when virtually all expenses are rising. Readers also tend to like the narrower width, saying the newspaper is easier to handle.”

Thames was also quick to point out that many basic features of the paper remain unchanged: “[The type in stories] is the same size as before, which happens to be larger than the type in many other newspapers.”

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