The Times of India will sport a new look from today. And so will all the Times Group papers. The body copy of the ad in the Times of India yesterday read,
"The Times of India Group of Newspapers will soon be available in a modern, international format. Slimmer. Slicker. Sexier. A sign of the times."
By the time you read this, you would have probably found out how different and sassy the new TOI looks. So we''''ve done a little more and gone backstage to find out what key TOI officials have to say about the new guise and the preparation that has gone into it.
Says Pradeep Guha, President, Times Group, "The new Times of India will have a decreased width. It''''ll flaunt an entirely new design. The designing has been extensively researched and has been done by an internal team. Also since we didn''''t want our readers to get up one morning and find their newspaper looking different, we have been advertising the new look of the newspaper."
R. Sundar, Director, TOI, says, "Months and months of research have gone into understanding the needs of the readers and making the newspaper more likable and readable. The change has been debated extensively. The new look is designed keeping the research in mind. A lot of things have been done to make the paper look better. For example, we have a new typeface, which definitely looks better and is more readable, and we''''ve given it a more contemporary feel. All in all, it would be a more convenient and reader-friendly newspaper."
Apart from the width of the newspaper, the column width will also decrease marginally. When asked if the smaller column width would in any way, impact the advertisers, both Guha and Sundar bear the same opinion. Both felt that the smaller column width would not create any problems for the advertisers. "In fact we have talked to a few media people and they seem pretty happy with the change. The readership and circulation would remain the same and as far as the ad-edit ratio is concerned, the small size of the publication would not affect it", says Sundar.
The benefits of narrower paper are obvious. Saving in newsprint and possibly a better handling by consumer. In last few months several large newspapers have already adopted the smaller tabloid format. The Times Group had been an exception. Says Guha, "It took us some time to take on the new format because we are a big publications group." He added, "Cost cutting is just incidental. Newsprint would be available only in this size, so sooner or later one had to adopt it."
Both Guha and Sundar seem pretty excited about the new look. Both are keeping their fingers crossed and are desperately waiting for their readers to reach a verdict. What say?