Monday, October 10, 2005

Sunday Papers: Catchup Day.

Sunday travel is usually the most unproductive time I spend. This time around, I'm armed with (literally, which is always a bitch hauling through the security screening) the Sunday Chicago Tribune and NYT. I'm always amazed at the stellar quality and depth of the NYT Sunday Magazine product and the advertising they continue to beat over the heads of Chicago Tribune.

On the front page of yesterday's Chicago Tribune (which didn't seem to get the attention of many IL bloggers... hellooo?) were three articles of great importance to all those walking upright and still taking nourishment. Nice job, Tribune.

I'll get to the stories next, because they each deserve their own post. One shocking thing that stands out is that the Kohl's flyer is now pretty consistently larger than the Chicago Tribune Magazine. Many changes have taken place in its format and design over the years, but the advertising manager for the product doesn't seem to know how to sell it.

The "Fall Men's Style Issue" (any style issue of either magazine is generally enough to invoke open laughter from some of the daring stuff inside) is about one-third of the 36 pages in this week's edition (a couple years ago, it would have been a supplement). And the content is very thin -- nothing short of anemic. There's a great pasta recipe, but the rest is tree-kill. The 80-page NYT Sunday Magazine, on the other hand is full of ads of all stripes and color (for the second week in row, they have a pull-out ad section), and the content is simpy superlative.

One change to the Tribune's product in recent years was to make it the same size as the NYT magazine, presumably to create additional advertising sales?

I also noticed on one of my stops that today's Tribune stock price continues to drop. This is all probably indicative of some institutional changes that need to be made. While its editorial page is always reflexively Republican, the content is pretty damn solid. Let's hope for the best for the "World's Greatest Newspaper."

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