Alt-weekly, the Chicago Reader will reformat, notes Phil Rosenthal at the Chicago Tribune.
Prefacing a buyout by Florida-based Creative Loafing, the Reader will change to a tabloid format from its now quarter fold. The paper is also looking to cut delivery staff that distributes its 135,000 copies weekly and print at the presses of Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Printing at the Journal Sentinel press is noted to allow more colors for publication, but Chicago's alt-weekly will have to come out on Wednesdays rather than Thursdays. This is probably because the Milwaukee press has to print out a different popular alt-weekly for Thursday, Madison, Wis.'s Isthmus.
The Reader's format changes are good and should pay dividends in the long run considering that the paper can adequately be delivered. The tabloid format makes paper's easier to read, being opened like a magazine rather than a newspaper. The Reader likely gets most of their readers during daily commutes.
The Tribune Co.'s Redeye (a crappy -6-day- paper put out to appeal to the "twenty-something crowd" that basically condenses longer stories from the Tribune and has a more liberal editorial bent) is in tabloid, and is widely read on the way to work. I gather because its easy to read in tight quarters, and it's free and better than picking your nose.
So, kudos to the Reader.