County Press set to go tabloid

By a County Press reporter

Friday, September 12, 2008


County Press set to go tabloid

The new tabloid County Press will be much easier to read. Picture by Jennifer Burton.

FOR over 120 years, week in, week out, the Isle of Wight County Press has been supplying Islanders with all their news.

 For all those years, the paper has recognised the importance of giving the people what they want and last year we commissioned research to find out a bit more about what our readers liked and what they didn’t.

What Islanders told us was something we already thought we knew. Eighty-seven per cent of you wanted the paper in a smaller, tabloid format.

And, from October 3, that’s exactly what you will get — a new-look County Press, packed with all the features it’s always had (and more), but in a handy tabloid format.

For some time you have been saying you find it difficult to read on the bus or ferry, or you have to take up the whole of the dining room table to read it.

So, we listened to your opinions and started planning a paper to give you exactly what you want. County Press editor Alan Marriott said, “Soon after I was appointed editor in April 2007, friends in the Island Bakeries cricket team took an impromptu straw poll as to whether they would like to see a tabloid paper.

“The show of hands came out 100 per cent in favour.

“That set me thinking and partially led to the research in November last year, which said 87 per cent of Islanders wanted a smaller-format CP.

“We would be arrogant not to respond to this sort of majority and set about designing a paper to retain the best of the County Press, plus some improved features, in a package the public really wanted.” County Press chief executive Robin Freeman said advertisers had been massively supportive of the changes.

“We spoke to our customers during the lead up to the change and explained to them the advantages to them in giving readers what they wanted.

“They all understood our reasons and said they were looking forward to the new-look County Press.

“Our marketing team have been talking to our advertisers about their campaigns in the tabloid County Press.” He added that the paper’s board of local business people had also been supportive of the change and had given the executive directors the green light to progress it. “The paper has been owned locally throughout its 124-year history and this gives us the chance to do what we feel is right for the paper and Island people.”

• The County Press team has been working on the project for much of the year and has designed what we believe will be an even better product.

The management team of chief executive Robin Freeman, editor Alan Marriott, advertising manager Ali Porteous and production manager Dave Jupe planned the conversion after taking on board your views. All the editorial and advertising you have come to expect will still be there, but we have responded to our research by improving several key areas.

The research showed that you wanted more news about entertainment and what’s on on the Island. It also revealed Islanders have a real hunger for a trip down memory lane.

So we will be improving that content in our paper with a dedicated page each week featuring reports and pictures of events and people down the years. And we want you to help by sending us your pictures and memories.

Our news content may be in a smaller format, but that doesn’t mean there will be less of it. Our reporting team will be bringing you even more stories from around the Island, while our photographers will be covering all the events that matter to Island.

And all these events will link in to the great coverage on our website, Another bonus will be more, and better, competitions and reader offers.

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