The Belfast Telegraph will enter a new era in its 138-year history from next week as it changes to a different and more exciting new format.
Staff and senior executives from the newspaper — which was founded in 1870 — gathered at Crumlin Road Gaol yesterday afternoon along with many of Northern Ireland’s leading business figures for the official launch of the new all-compact edition of the Belfast Telegraph.
The new format will go live across all editions throughout the day from next Wednesday.
Backed by a comprehensive television, radio and outdoor campaign, the new paper will comprise a 68 page main news section which includes comment, news review, politics, business, lifestyle and sport.
The five-edition daily paper will also be enhanced by a broad range of specialist supplements, including Business, Private and Public Sector Jobs, CarFinder, HomeFinder and a new 24 page sports pull-out every Monday.
Chief Executive of Independent News & Media (NI) Michael Brophy said that the move was the result of extensive market research.
“Independent News & Media began the compact revolution in quality newspapers with The Independent back in 2003,” he said.
“The Belfast Telegraph followed suit in 2005 with the introduction of the Saturday compact and, soon after, the morning edition.
“The adoption of a wholly compact format is a natural development for the company and it is a move which has been fully endorsed by our readership, as evidenced in extensive research carried out over the last year.”
Mr Brophy said that in answers given to a range of questions about the content, format and style of the current Belfast Telegraph, 95% of respondents had given a “resounding thumbs-up” to its news content, while 80% responded positively to features and columnists.
“However, 52% of respondents said they didn’t like the size of the paper and 53% actually stated they would prefer it to be smaller,” he said.
“With strong support both externally and internally we are ready to enter a new era for Northern Ireland’s leading daily newspaper, confident that we are shaping the Belfast Telegraph to meet our readers needs in every aspect.”
The Belfast Telegraph has been printed as a broadsheet since September 1, 1870. The compact format was introduced in February 2005, with a new Saturday morning edition. This was quickly followed by the daily ‘am’ edition the following month.
From next Wednesday, March 25, all five daily editions of the Belfast Telegraph — including the City, Final, County and North West — will be printed in compact format.