The South Whidbey Record will switch to a tabloid format in January. The Record’s sister newspaper in Oak Harbor, The Whidbey News-Times, is also making the change.
Sound Publishing, Inc. announced the new format changes this week, and the conversion will take effect Jan. 7.
Company officials said the switch to tabloids will mean a more modern look, with more color and other improvements.
“Readers nowadays prefer tabloid newspapers because they are easier to carry and there are more visual images for readers to be engaged with in the commuter friendly design”, said Lori Maxim, Vice President of West Sound Newspaper Operations, Sound Publishing, Inc. “Tabloids are also environmentally friendly, using less newsprint and offering advertisers more color availability.”
“The change won’t mean less room for news, but will cut production costs and increase the amount of color available to advertisers,” said Marcia Van Dyke, publisher of both the News-Times and Record.
It’s not the first time the Record has changed formats. The newspaper was previously published in tabloid format in the early 1970s.
Sound Publishing, Inc. is the largest publisher of community and suburban newspapers in Washington and is also one of the area’s largest commercial web printers. The company operates 30 community and suburban newspapers, two monthly business journals, 17 Little Nickel and Nickel Ads weekly shoppers throughout Washington and Oregon. In addition, publishes two editions of the Northwest Navigator for the Navy.
Most of Sound Publishing’s newspapers that serve Kitsap will also convert to the tabloid format.
As part of the planned improvements, Sound Publishing also announced it would modify the publishing frequency, day of publication and format of a number of newspapers in Kitsap County.
In January, three of the twice-weekly newspapers – The Port Orchard Independent, Bainbridge Island Review and North Kitsap Herald — will begin publishing weekly on Fridays. The Central Kitsap Reporter, Bremerton Patriot and North West Navigator will also publish on Fridays.
As a result of the suspension of operations at the company’s printing facility on Bainbridge Island, all Sound newspapers will be printed at the Everett press facility beginning the week of Jan. 5.
Van Dyke emphasized that the Whidbey papers will continue to come out twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday.
“Both papers are financially healthy and our readers and advertisers prefer twice-weekly publication,” she said.
However, both the New-Times and Record are putting more emphasis on the Web sites for both newspapers, updating them daily with new stories and other content.