A Smaller WSJ? We Still Won’t Read It

Today is the big day, or should I say, the small day for the Wall Street Journal. In a bid to gain ‘younger readers’ they’ve slimmed down the paper, knocking 3 1/2 inches off papers gargantuan width. Gordon Crovitz, the publisher, said that focus groups indicated that this made the paper more convenient and literally handier. It’s free on many newsstands today and you can even log into their website (gasp!) for free.

But as usual, the multimillion dollar change misses the point. Younger readers!? Yeah right. They are not going to gain younger readers unless they offer to read the paper to them while these youngsters multitask. The point is that it is TIME that is short, it isn’t the size of the thing. It’s that it comes at you six days a week, an unending onslaught of paper, younger readers will continue to just go to the web –they aren’t stretching out in their easy chairs with their pipes and slippers reading the newly designed WSJ!

Yesterday the editors and reporters union took out a $110,000 ad in the NY Times decrying that this new size “also means a smaller news product and diminished quality.” Among their claimed beefs is a 400% increase in their health insurance costs and staff cutbacks. It’s a slow and steady downward spiral, and cutting the size ain’t gonna fix that.