All the news that’s fit to print is about to get a makeover.
Starting Monday, The New York Times will break from its tradition and have color photos inside every day, as well as a separate sports section. There will be six sections Tuesday through Friday, including revamped lifestyle sections and expanded arts coverage.
Next month, the paper will inaugurate color pictures on the front page. And from February until the year 2000, one new weekly theme section will be added every six weeks, such as “Circuits,” which will cover new technology, personal computers and the like.
The last time the paper underwent such dramatic changes was in the late 1970s, when it went from two to four sections. At the time, expanded coverage of lifestyle and culture prompted jokes that “foreign correspondents would have to have a pickle recipe to get into the newspaper,” recalled publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.
Sulzberger, 46, whose great-grandfather Adolph S. Ochs bought the Times 101 years ago, says the 1997 changes are designed for both new and longtime readers.
“Will color attract younger readers? Will later deadlines that allow us to give the score at the end of the game attract new readers? We certainly hope so,” he said.
But loyal subscribers are also on his mind. “You have to change to maintain excellence,” he said.
The Times has had color in Sunday feature sections since 1993. Color could have been added to the daily editions before now, Sulzberger said, but “color was just part of the mix.” The paper’s new $350 million printing plant in Queens also makes possible a later deadline - 11:30 p.m. instead of 9 p.m.
“That dramatically reduces the time between when we speak and readers hear us,” Sulzberger said. “Color’s easy compared to that.”