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A slimmer, more vibrant us

By Ned Seaton

Tuesday’s Manhattan Mercury will be a bit more contemporary than the copy you’re currently holding in your hands or viewing on your screen

The biggest difference is that the printed page will be two inches narrower than the current one. That will make The Mercury the same size as many newspapers around the country, including the Wall Street Journal and the Kansas City Star.

Why is The Mercury doing this? Two main reasons:

First, reader convenience. Surveys consistently show that readers prefer a narrower newspaper because it’s easier to handle. That’s a big part of why newspapers around the country have moved to the more convenient format.

Second, advertising standards. Because many newspapers around the country have switched to the more convenient format, advertising agencies have become accustomed to those dimensions. It is worth mentioning that in conjunction with this project, The Mercury is revamping its advertising rate structure to help advertisers make their dollars go farther.

There’s also the fact that we’ll use a bit less newsprint.

The content of the paper itself will not change dramatically. Editing will be a little tighter, particularly on stories from news wire services. Page layouts will shift to accommodate the contemporary look. And the Mercury’s “flag” on the front page will look at little different. But the focus remains what it has been for many years:

Local news and information, as well as local ads.

The type style and type size will remain the same. Readers have told us over the years that they appreciate that because it’s easy to read.

We think you’ll like the changes. If you’d like to comment or you have questions, feel free to send an e-mail to

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