London newspaper broadly announces switch to tabloid

LONDON – To make sure nobody missed its big change from a broadsheet to a tabloid, The Times of London told readers about it on the front page.

On Saturday, a notice at the top of page 1 said, “The Times – the last broadsheet edition.”

Readers picking up the Monday edition read a new notice in the same space, saying: “The Times – the compact newspaper.”

In going tabloid, The Times became the second major British paper to move to the smaller, more commuter-friendly format in a bid to reverse slumping sales.

For the last few years, sales for Britain’s broadsheet newspapers have been falling.

The Independent switched to the smaller format in September 2003 and has seen its sales grow by almost 20 percent.

Since November 2003, The Times had been printing both tabloid and broadsheet formats, saying that sales had grown by 4.5 percent to 660,000 copies a day.

The decision to go totally tabloid risks alienating some of the 216-year-old newspaper’s more traditionalist readers.

But all is not lost for them. The Times’ sister paper, The Sunday Times, will remain a broadsheet.

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