Cape Town - Financial daily newspaper Business Day will change its format from broadsheet to tabloid in April. This was confirmed by Peter Bruce, the publisher of BDFM which owns Business Day, in an article which appeared on grubstreet.co.za on Tuesday.
“It looks very good and all the response has been extremely positive,” said Bruce.
Bruce was appointed publisher late last year, after serving as editor of Business Day for more than a decade.
BDFM, which also publishes the Financial Mail and owns Summit TV, is jointly owned by Times Media Group, previously Avusa and Pearson, the owners of the Financial Times of London.
Bruce told Grubstreet the format change was not driven by the need to cut costs, but rather an improvement on what the paper can offer readers.
In late 2012 there was a round of voluntary retrenchments at Business Day, as the newspaper faced a drop in revenue because of a change to JSE rules governing financial notices earmarked to start in 2013.
Said Bruce: “With a tabloid you’re much more easily able to control what the pages are there for.
“You can designate your pages as being a mining page or an Africa page or whatever more easily than you can in a broadsheet. So the paper will become more logical.
"It will also force the desk to make more decisions about what kind of stories they want because need to have strong page leads (with a tabloid format).”
Bruce reiterated that the format change would not affect the tone or mix of content, bearing in mind that advertisers can find format changes tricky.
“There’s always a bit of uncertainty around change but the response from the advertisers has been very positive, partly because you can offer people dominance over a spread for a price that you’d never get in a broadsheet,” Bruce said.
Concerning retrenchments, Bruce told Grubstreet that 32 staff members - a mix from editorial, sales and marketing departments - took voluntary packages and a further six or seven resigned over the same period.
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