It had been rumored for months, but is now official: In an effort to further cut costs the Kansas City Star will shrink in size.
While that might not seem like “Stop the Presses” news to most readers, the McClatchy-owned newspaper will be able to save considerably on printing costs by moving to smaller pages.
According to a memo sent to advertisers (below, click twice to expand) the transition will occur from March 22 through April 21. The new dimensions are outlined in the memo.
The paper will now be identical in size to USA Today, but considerably smaller than it was even five or ten years ago. Other publications printed at the Star such as The Pitch and Kansas City Sports & Fitness will also shrink in size by approximately an inch on top.
The news is important to advertisers and ad agencies.
The change will mean clients’ ads will now have to be re-formatted to meet the smaller dimensions and that means additional costs for all involved.
“As an advertiser I don’t like the size decrease, but what can you do?” says David K. Miller of the Something Different Media Group, an ad agency based in Olathe. ”We will continue to use it as a vehicle to market our products and services. We have had great success using the Kansas City Star.”
Miller does admit the response by the public isn’t what it used to be with advertising in the Star.
“Circulation of the Star has been declining and the response isn’t what it used to be,” he says. “I’m afraid this new size will cause more folks to cancel, which affects my bottom line. I hope it’s embraced by the readers, but change is not something most readers will ever embrace.
“As a reader, I personally was dissatisfied a few months ago when they made the decision to start charging for the iPad e-edition, which is an exact replica of the paper.”
Another media insider is not pleased with the direction the Star has taken lately, namely charging more for less.
“The Star came out with this new plan for the e-edition that will charge you a weekly extra fee for the privilege of having it,” he says. “That pushed me a little over the edge.
“The Star has been giving less and asking for more,” he adds. “So for most subscribers they took away services from existing subscribers. The iPad edition was an added benefit, but that is gone unless you pay more.
“This is not the time to be charging more and taking away added benefits.”