Thursday, June 15, 2006

Daily Telegraph to launch Mini Telegraph?

Reports in this morning's Media Guardian add to the wider speculation that the Daily Telegraph may soon publish a tabloid Telegraph light edition alongside its traditional broadsheet edition.

The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph are the only two UK national papers to have remained in a broadsheet format.

With FT readership in decline (down 28% in the UK between April 2005 and March 2006), the Telegraph will be keen to avoid any dent to its dominant position in the quality daily space as the market moves towards favouring smaller papers.

Murdoch McLennan, chief executive of the Telegraph Media Group denied the report, saying "The Telegraph definitely has no plans to go tabloid at this time".

But if it did go ahead - perhaps as part of the Telegraph's move from it's shiny Canary Wharf to it's even shinier new location near London Victoria Station - what would it look like?

Half the size, half the content, half the price.

Does it sound crazy to publish two formats of the same paper? The Independent tried it for a while when they first launched their compact edition in London before rolling it out UK-wide. The Times also offered both formats for a limited period - but spent a lot of time pruning and reshaping the stories and pictures to fit the different sizes. And that's on top of publishing the stories on the papers' websites too.

So it's not terribly viable in the long term to dual-version an entire newspaper. However, the model of offering a lite version of a quality paper with cut down content is successful in parts of continental Europe - particularly Germany.

Latest readership figures from the NRS (in millions):

The Sun - 8.14, Daily Mail - 5.32, Daily Telegraph - 2.16,
Daily Express - 1.98, The Times - 1.81, Daily Star - 1.78,
Guardian - 1.22, Independent - 0.71, Financial Times - 0.39,
Racing Post - 0.25

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