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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Saturday edition is returning to form

By JOE McQUAID
February 04. 2018 11:45PM




The results are in, and our Saturday edition is reverting to form.

“Form” being the standard broadsheet size that we use for our weekday and Sunday newspapers. The smaller, tabloid size works well for many of our special editions, but for the regular newspaper, the Saturday version did not catch on with many readers. It’s more like it caught the flu.

Did you know how broadsheet newspapers came into vogue? It was because of the King of England and his pals in the Parliament.

Being the government, they felt the need to raise taxes. Governments like to spend money, and you need to raise taxes to spend your subjects’ money.

King and crew saw the bustling newspaper business as a nice target. They decided to tax publishers on a per-page basis, which was a lot of pages in the tabloid format.

But being publishers, they turned the tables on the taxers. Going to a broadsheet format required fewer pages, hence fewer taxes paid.

We aren’t taxed per page here, so changing from 32 tab pages to 16 broadsheet won’t save money. But it will save the aggravation some readers have shared with us about not being able to easily trade sections of the paper with a spouse. It also means our popular back page will be back, and on the back page.

Saturday’s paper will still look a bit different than its daily or Sunday counterparts. But it should be easier to find if you look for it before dawn or are used to getting it at the store.

In totally-unrelated news, the lady of the house nicely brought me a large cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee the other day. She placed it on my desk. She left. A minute later, I noticed coffee flowing across the desk. I suspected an ill-fitting cup cover.

Nope. I picked up the cup. There was a pin-hole sized leak in the cup. I suspected shoddy cup craftsmanship.

Nope. Next to the cup was an earring. A pierced earring.

(I digress here to recall the sign I once saw in a mall. It read “pierced ears while you wait.” I’ve always wondered what would be the alternative? Leave your ears and check back in an hour?)

The moral of the story: If an earring hits your cup, you are halfway to a nice Valentine’s Day gift.

Write to Joe McQuaid at Publisher@unionleader.com or on Twitter at @deucecrew.


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