Two things to keep an eye on this coming week…
1) The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press will convert to a new format starting
The Free Press‘ 45-year-old printing press enjoyed a $2.4 million overhaul this spring. The paper will convert from a broadsheet to a “tall tabloid” — 11 inches wide x 15 inches deep — with color on every page. An extensive redesign is expected to give the paper more of a magazine-like feel.
Free Press editor — and my former boss in Des Moines — Michael Townsend showed his excitement on his Facebook wall this weekend:
Wednesday we push the button on the most intriguing journey in journalism that has ever engaged me and my passionate colleagues at the Burlington Free Press and our highly skilled design studio. On Thursday, with the help of many in the Gannett company, we reinvent the newspaper.
As Mike says, design of the paper is being handled by the staff at the Asbury Park Design Studio.
At the same time, the Free Press is installing a paywall for online content, says a press release from last February. Find that press release here.
Average daily circulation for the Free Press is 31,095.
Find the Gannett Design Studio Facebook page here.
2) In addition, the GateHouse Design Houses in Framingham, Mass., and Rockford, Ill., will begin operation this week.
Jean Hodges writes on the GateHouse in-house news site:
The Design House in Framingham, Mass., will launch 21 papers next week, and the Design House in Rockford, Ill., will launch both the Rockford and Freeport papers.
…The rollout adds new GateHouse newspapers each week to the Design House workload. In all, 280 newsrooms will transition to the Design Houses by the end of the year.
“Freeport” refers to the Journal-Standard of Freeport, Ill., circulation 8,836. That paper doesn’t contribute to the Newseum, so I have no sample to show you.
Average daily circulation of the Rockford Register Star is 65,224.
While the Burlington changes will be extraordinary, obviously, we’re not expecting many changes in the appearance of the Rockford paper. In fact, the Rockford design hub recently produced a parallel edition on the new Saxotech system.
Today’s front page images are from the Newseum. Of course.