I alluded to this on a couple of occasions before in this pixelated version of reality. Running two editions of a newspaper – one broadsheet and one compact, is a risk free but expensive decision.
On one hand you let the market decide which format they prefer by giving them the choice of both formats and offending no-one. But in doing so you double up on your subbing (no a whold lot), layout, pre-press, plates, printers wages and have two shorter print runs as opposed the one run straight through.
All well and good when the tiger roared, but in these times of financial restraint and penury a business decision has to be made detached from any emotion. I feel that a decision regarding the two formats of the Irish Independent is in motion and, from the content of the letter sent to some retailers on Friday, it looks as if the demise of the broadsheet edition is imminent.
I’d gladly be branded a cynic if this is in fact a “market test”, but I strongly doubt it.
You only have to look at the sales of each format to see that the writing is on the wall for the broadsheet.
The ABC certified figures above are the number of papers that are sold each day minus the regular bulks – ie the hand in pocket brigade – the people that count.