Monday, September 29, 2008

Chicago Tribune Redesign: Initial Thoughts ...

First thought when I saw it in the store this morning: "Weird." The blue banner is gone. "Chicago Tribune" is stacked on top of itself, making room for art and coverlines at the top of the page.

Second thought (called to my attention by the cashier looking for a barcode or a price and finding neither anywhere on page 1 or page 2, for that matter): "Oops." (Oh, funny. I just went the paper's web site and learned that the paper is free today. Maybe that's why there's no price on the front page. Apparently, nobody told the people at my grocery store. I paid .75 cents for it.)

Third thought, when I got it home and started leafing through it: "It's a tabloid that can't bear to think of itself as a tabloid, so it's still going to publish as a broadsheet." But it's a tabloid.

Fourth thought, when I happened upon Kathleen Parker's column: "I read this online ... two days ago."

The Trib is asking for feedback this morning. Here's what I had to say: "First of all, I just paid for the paper. I guess no one told the staff at the store where I bought it that it was supposed to be free today. Though that would explain why she couldn't find a barcode or a price anywhere on pages 1 or 2. But my overarching thought? The Tribune is now a tabloid that can't bear to think of itself as a tabloid so it's continuing to publish as a broadsheet. But it's a tabloid. And Kathleen Parker's column on page 37? I read it two days ago, online. This is the new Tribune? On page 3 are the 5 hot topics as measured by Google Trends? That's the stuff of RedEye. But coverage of the government's $700 billion bailout is relegated to page 4? That would be front-page news in the Tribune I used to work for, not just skybox fodder."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a lot of fears about the Tribune redesign where it was first proposed. Unfortunately, all of those fears came to fruition and then some. Here are my thoughts:

12:03 PM  

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