The six-section title was relaunched at the end of January as the must-read Saturday title for young, up and coming professionals and their families.
New sections include Playlist – a pocket-sized listings guide; Sport – its first standalone sport coverage; Saturday Review – an in-depth arts, books and ideas supplement that has returned to the broadsheet size it scrapped in 2004; and Weekend – the ‘heart’ of the paper, incorporating the old Body & Soul pages, travel, homes and gardens and food and drink.
The glossy magazine, which so often makes or breaks a paper’s sales, is simply entitled Magazine, incorporating fashion, style, trends and Giles Coren’s restaurant reviews.
Gap in the market
The paper is hoping to fill a gap in the weekend market. ‘We want to capture that great feeling when you wake up on a Saturday morning in the knowledge that you have two days off,’ explains editor Eleanor Mills, herself a recent addition to the Saturday staff, having joined in August from The Sunday Times news review section.
‘The Saturday Times speaks to a demographic that has not been marketed to before,’ says Mills. ‘Our readers are 25 and upwards, interested in ideas and public affairs, tend to have degrees, and are starting families of their own. The paper now gives them fodder for all their lives.’
Being eco-friendly and open to ideas is a key factor in the younger audience’s ethics. Cow PR tapped into this with its pitching of the Wottle – a water bottle partnership between Brita and designer Orla Kiely.
Mark Perkins, head of news at Cow PR, said: ‘The Body & Soul section – now part of Weekend – is a perfect fit for the Wottle’s target audience, which is interested in fashionable, ethical products that also provide a health benefit.’
It does not end with green living; the audience cares about all types of modern society. Lewis PR worked with the paper on the independent utility switching service energyhelpline.
Paul McCormick, account executive, chose the paper as ‘its readership is viewed by the client as a key target audience’. He continues: ‘The Saturday Times is a top tier title with an affluent readership providing great opportunities.’
With strong PR ties existing already, the title’s expansion can only result in increased opportunities for PR professionals.
Debbie Hindle, MD at specialist travel agency bgb Communications, believes this to be the case. ‘The redesign provides greater opportunities and crossover. It is now more lifestyle-led and a seamless read.’
Circulation 701,000 (up from 681,000 pre-redesign)
Source: The Saturday Times, 24 January 2009
Price £1.50 (previously £1.40)
Editor Eleanor Mills
Magazine Gill Morgan
Playlist James Jackson
Saturday Review Phoebe Greenwood
Sport Matt Dickinson
Weekend Lesley Thomas
A minute with... Eleanor Mills, editor, The Saturday Times
Who reads The Saturday Times?
We have a broad readership aged 25 and upwards. Up until now there have only been papers for their parents. Now they are leading their own lives and having families of their own, they want to read something that focuses on what they truly care about – family and friends.
Why revamp now?
The Times had wanted to do it for a while, but hadn’t found the right person. It has been doing incredibly well during the week, but not so well at kicking back at the weekend.
Please define your USP
We are much sharper than our competitors, with a fantastic new fresh, clean design. The Guardian is often smug and exclusive with its ideas and The Saturday Telegraph can be far older and twee.
How many people work on The Saturday Times?
We have 150 of the best writers on Fleet Street. The revamp now gives them greater space to showcase their talents.