The NY Times announces that its print edition will be 1.5" narrower and a printing plant in NJ will be closed. With this change, a total of 1050 jobs will be lost and most of the regional printing will be moved to the College Point, Queens plant.
The Times notes, "Several other American broadsheets reduced their size a few years ago, and many are planning further shrinkage to cut costs as the price of newsprint climbs and newspapers lose readers and advertisers to the Internet." Yes - blame the trees and the Internet! Executive editor Bill Keller said at a quarterly meeting, “It’s painful to watch an industry retrench. But this is a much less painful way to go about assuring our economic survival than cutting staff or closing foreign bureaus or retrenching our investigative reporting or diluting the Washington bureau.”
Expect the slimmer, width-wise (the Times will be increasing pages to accomodate the loss, for a net 5% loss of page space), edition in April 2008, which is part of a "phased-in" redesign. We suppose the Times will keep the six column structure, but it should be an interesting change. Right now, the Times is about 13.75" wide, so the new version will end about one-third of the way into the sixth column. If the paper gets fatter, we wonder how that'll effect folding it while reading it on the train.