‘Dramatic Changes’ To Be Tested In ‘Chic Trib’ Design

By: Joe Strupp

The Chicago Tribune will test some “dramatic changes” to its design with a prototype set to be used in a test run in August, Crain’s Chicago Business reports.

“The new face of the Chicago Tribune is taking shape, as staffers at the newspaper put the finishing touches on a prototype set for a test run in the next few weeks,” Crain’s reported Monday. “Crain’s has learned that Tribune Co. will try out some dramatic changes in the 161-year-old broadsheet in a Saturday edition by early August. A version under consideration devotes the paper’s front section to consumer-oriented and entertainment features. Local, national, international and business news is consolidated in the second section. Weather leads the third section, which also includes comics and classifieds, while the sports section is converted to a tabloid format.”

The report adds that “it’s not clear how many of these changes will make it into the final version of the prototype, which a spokesman calls a ‘work in progress.’ But aspects of the prototype that prove popular with readers are likely to find their way into a full-scale redesign of all editions of the paper, which Tribune expects to debut by September.”

Tribune Co. Chief Operating Officer Randy Michaels has reportedly ordered redesigns of all of Tribune’s papers ? along with cuts in editorial output and staff ? “in a bid to trim costs as circulations decline and advertising revenues plummet,” the story said.

Crain’s reports that newly appointed Editor Gerould Kern, whose predecessor, Ann Marie Lipinski, resigned last week, is heading the redesign and quotes him as saying it “will be one of the top priorities.”

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