‘Chicago Tribune’ Mulling Online Evening Edition

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By: E&P Staff

The Chicago Tribune this week began considering publishing an online evening edition, Public Editor Timothy J. McNulty said in Friday’s print edition.

“Providing an evening edition was suggested during an impromptu discussion after a Page 1 meeting,” McNulty said. “On Wednesday, 60 reporters and editors concerned about news that is destined to feel dated by morning gathered to talk about writing for the Web and updating for the newspaper.”

Last month, the rival Chicago Sun-Times launched a free “P.M. Download Edition.”

For years, both Chicago dailies published print afternoon editions, a section that was wrapped around the morning’s paper and sold to commuters. The Tribune dropped its afternoon edition in the 1980s. The Sun-Times folded its two afternoon editions last year.

McNulty suggested the Tribune edition might be different from the increasingly common newspaper online evening editions that are mostly digests of news that has broken during the day.

“Evening newspapers might even be more reflective, geared toward analysis and commentary about the day’s events or previewing tomorrow’s stories,” he wrote. “One reason to consider such a publication is that people now are absorbing news and headlines throughout the day. There may be a new appetite for something more thoughtful to read during the evening.

In discussing the Tribune’s online audience, McNulty said, without giving specific numbers, that readership of blogs by Trib reporters and columnists is three times bigger than a year ago.

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