Newspapers try new selling tactics

Courier’s new look, SoS’s weekend price cut

CourierOne of Scotland’s oldest titles has been given a new look that marks the biggest change in appearance since it turned tabloid.

Readers of the Dundee Courier now have a paper with new typefaces and a greater focus on photographs.

Considering that it was last daily paper in Britain to devote its front page to advertising – it switched to news coverage in 1992 –  the latest change will be seen as radical, and perhaps risky. One reader this morning disparagingly tweeted that it now looked like the Metro, the free paper distributed by the Daily Mail group.

However, given that the Metro is one of the best read papers in Britain this may be no bad thing if The Courier’s new look attracts a new, particularly young, readership.

Launched in 1801, the D C Thomson owned title stuck firmly to a traditional broadsheet format until January 2012, when it followed others, including The Scotsman, in turning tabloid.

The changes at the Courier come after a weekend of discounting at the Edinburgh papers. Scotland on Sunday followed its daily stablemate The Scotsman by being sold in the streets for £1 – less than half the normal cover price (£2.15).

Scotland on SundayCritics have long said the capital’s main titles are over-priced (Saturday’s Scotsman is double price of the Scottish Daily Mail), although yesterday’s cut was probably timed to mitigate the impact of The Sunday Times Rich List which is always a big selling edition.

However, there was some surprise at the decision some time ago by Johnston Press to lay off all the street vendors in Edinburgh. The papers were back on the streets yesterday as the Sunday title was being sold at its discounted price with a free goody bag.



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