NEW YORK -- The Wall Street Journal is moving to a smaller width and making other design changes in an effort to save money, draw in new readers, and make the paper available in more places.
The new design will shave three inches from the width of the paper, the equivalent of about one column. The new front page will have five columns instead of six, with the "What's News" summary of the previous day's news flush to the left side of the paper.
Moving to a more standard width of 12 inches will save Dow Jones & Co., the paper's publisher, about $18 million per year and also allow the paper to be printed in more locations, making it easier to produce and deliver to more locations.
In an effort to reach out to younger readers, the paper will also launch a mentoring program and make copies available to young professionals to try out. Gordon Crovitz, the newspaper's publisher, said younger readers and women were especially enthusiastic about the new design in focus groups.
The Journal's new look, which will go into effect Jan. 2, will also feature more color, graphics, shorter stories, and fewer "jumps" to the inside of the paper.
Far more of the print version of the newspaper will focus on interpretive and "what does it mean" journalism, Crovitz said in an interview, as readers increasingly get up-to-the-minute information from other sources, including the Journal's own online outlets.
"In a digital world, we need to tell our readers what the news means to them," Crovitz said.
The smaller size will result in about 10 percent less space inside the paper for news, but about half of that reduction will be offset by moving several statistical tables to the paper's website , Paul Steiger, the managing editor, said at the news conference.
Other major newspapers have also cut their width in recent years, including Tribune Co.'s Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and Gannett Co.'s USA Today. The New York Times is planning to reduce its width in 2008.