NEW YORK: The Wall Street Journal officially unveiled its new design at a press conference this morning, pledging that the paper will include "more of what it means, not just what happened."
The new print design, which will debut on January 2, is a brighter, leaner look for the tradition-bound paper. It is cutting its wide size by several inches, meaning the overall print news hole will decline 10%. Managing editor Paul Steiger said that half of that will come from the "culling of list stats," and the other half from shortening story lengths.
Notable changes include a new, "more legible" typeface, a "Today's agenda" section on page A2 that will serve as a quick look at the day ahead, a new "Informed reader" section with information from other news sources, an expansion of the letters to the editor section, and increased use of infographics.
The paper's website will add a new, free "market data center" to track financial information. New marketing efforts include a "mentoring program" targeting young executives to try to increase youth readership, and free distribution of an estimated 500,000 copies on January 2, along with free website access for the day.
A 20-foot high mock-up of a front page unveiled at the news conference showed a more colorful-looking product, with an advertisement filling the bottom right-hand corner of the page.
Journal publisher L Gordon Crovitz emphasized that he is not "platform agnostic." Instead, the paper wants to draw readers to both its print and online versions.
"We want people to access the Journal throughout the day" through different media, he said.
Steiger said his goal is to focus the print edition on "value-added" stories that are forward-looking, rather than simply rehashing the past day's news, a process he called running "second day stories the first day."
Steiger wants 80% of the print content to be forward-looking by early 2007; he estimated that currently half of the content fits that standard.