Move to smaller paid papers starts at the top

News Corp Australia tabloids in NT and regional Queensland will shrink almost a seventh of their size while the publisher tells readers they will be getting more.

Page length of popular daily NT News, Sunday Territorian and the Centralian Advocate - which is printed in Darwin and trucked the 1500 kms to Alice Springs - is being cut by 55mm from 405 to 350 mm during this month.

Executive chairman Michael Miller is positively upbeat about the change, congratulating staff on the "makeover" to a "more compact, reader friendly size". While newspapers in regional Queensland are set to follow, News later denied that it plans to cut the size of its metro or national titles, although Miller had Tweeted that Darwin was "leading the way for @newscorpaus' major newspapers".

Last October it converted the folder of one of its double-width manroland Geoman presses in Chullora, Sydney to a 320 mm page length, similar to that of its glossy supplements in NSW and Queensland. Changing the product length on single-width presses such as the KBA Comet in Darwin, is simpler.

Australia had previously managed to avoid the square tabloids and narrow broadsheets common in the US, but News Australia's changes will bring it into line with its tabloid New York Post.

NT News editor Matt Williams says smaller format will mean better value for readers. While it will be "slightly smaller" the design will provide for more stories than now. He said research showed that newspaper readers "love reading lots of little stories, so we'll be making sure they're getting value for money".

Pictured: Rupert Murdoch calls in to see the new Darwin press in 2003

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