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Web Width Reductions

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Your Huckleberry, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. The shop I work at currently has a web width of 24 inches and it's apparently on the chopping block. Latest word is upper managment has decided to reduce the width to just 22 inches by the end of this year and possibly much sooner.

    We used to be 29 or 31 inches 10 years ago, I'm not sure which. I do know we were a monster size paper compared to the magazine/tabloid size we are putting out now. I'm wondering just how small they can go before we actually do become a tabloid? I've never heard of a 22-inch web width. Does anyone work for a paper that has this size or smaller? Was it a result of cutbacks like my shop?

    My chief concern here is the product is being chopped and chopped away at. We will have cut 9 inches from our original size which ran for over 100 years ... but in the past decade we will have cut nearly 30 percent of our content. At some point cuts can't be made to the product. I guess that's when pink slips and dead bodies will start turning up. I just wonder how long it will take.

    The end is near.
     
  2. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    My shop is going to a 46 inch web, so it will be 23". I haven't heard of a 22" before. I thought 23" was as small as you could go and still be a broadsheet.
    A web width change is pretty expensive since all the ads have to be resized. We actually hired someone just to do all the ad changes. So the change doesn't save much money in the first year or two.
     
  3. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    My paper is shrinking to 22 inches about 18 months after shrinking from 28 to 24. Not a good sign.
     
  4. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    Us too.

    Ogden mandated a web change which went into effect on the last day of my internship in 2005, and we're doing it again. I think it's down to 23", but I don't remember specifically.

    All I know is that it goes into effect Tuesday and that no one has bothered to update our templates, and our AP sports agate doesn't fit into the new columns. My SE told me today to make the agate columns normal size until further notice and leave the rest of the page to have columns lord knows what size. I'm thrilled to death about that.
     
  5. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Active Member

    I also work (part-time) for an Ogden paper. We're already at a 23-inch web. The guys who had to redesign the paper, including the sports section, were pissed because of all the work it took for templates, especially the agate.
    Rumors are we're going to shrink even more. Wonderful.
    I'm glad I don't have to worry about laying out a page. The shrinking page has made for interesting ad stacks.
     
  6. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    We shrunk. And we widen our gutters. A lovely little double whammy.

    On average, my stories must now be 50-65 words shorter than they were before the shrinkage.

    It sucks. Everyone in the newsroom is given a hard word count. And, we got our "do more with less" speech from the publisher, to boot.
     
  7. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    We've chopped twice since I've been here, which is less than 2 years.
     
  8. Sounds like this is happening pretty much across the board. I wasn't sure if it was us or a lot of other papers. And yes, our sports agate page will be difficult to figure out once the change occurs.

    I don't know if you can or can't be 22 inches and a broadsheet. I was just told we would be 23 inches the other day, then was immediately told 22. Maybe there is some confusion in the management side as to what can and can't actually be done but they believe it can be done at 22 inches.
     
  9. jobu

    jobu Member

    This paper is trying to spin its web-width reduction as "consistent with the paper's environmentally-friendly attitude" and claims it will save 646 trees per year. Bravo!

    http://elpasotimes.typepad.com/mediabuzz/2008/04/whats-an-inch-b.html
     
  10. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    That's brilliant.
     
  11. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    Reduction went into effect today - forgot to mention the No. 1 problem as it relates to me:

    Sports standings (in this case the SportsTab folder's AL/NL glance) no longer fit in the column as divided presently. For the time being, we're basically running the standings the old size and freestyling everything else around it (an adventure I'd rather not participate in for long). Anyone know how to fiddle with style sheets or tabs in Quark so it actually works?
     
  12. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    My shop is considering dropping from a 27 inch web to a 25 inch web for a tabloid.

    Our production manager has been trying to fight it tooth and nail. Our CEO is adamant about doing it in spite of all the reasons he's brought up.

    The one thing holding up the move is what effect it would have on legal ads. If the advertisers are against it, it will overrule the CEO.
     
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