Business Standard has finally fallen in line with national and international norms in terms of size.
After months of holding on to its original height of 56 cm and width of 38 cm per page (full area), Business Standard, the flagship brand from the company with the same name, will reduce its size. Starting today (Monday, October 28, 2002), it will be slimmer with its width at 35 cm (height remains the same). This means that the width of the printable area, which is always lesser than the width of the full area, will come down from 36.4 cm to 32.9 cm, with its height remaining constant at 51.5 cm.
Stating the reasons for resizing the paper so late (most other papers including Hindustan Times as well as publications from the Express and Times have resized a while ago), Akila Urankar, president, Business Standard Ltd, says, "The reason why we did not go in for a reduction in size earlier is that we wanted to time it with the design overhaul. The paper is changing in look, design and content. We wanted all of it to happen together."
Apart from the change in layout, the masthead of the paper has also been changed "with more information around it", says Urankar. "We had redesigned the stock pages a few months ago. But the new changes are intended to give the paper a sharper market focus, helping readers to navigate through the pages better," she maintains.
Of the redesigned pages, the ones containing stock market information focus on the Top 200 scrips - moving away from the horizontal representation that characterised the pages earlier to a more viewer-friendly capsule format containing a bigger dose of information. The commodity, money and forex pages will also sport a new look, whereas work on the A&M page is still on. "We are working on the A&M page. So details are difficult to offer," she avers.
The resized version will continue to be priced at Rs 5 per copy with the Saturday issue available at Rs 6. "Despite a reduction in size, the number of columns in a page will continue to be eight, so there is no question of a commercial impact," she maintains. "Internationally, most papers are available in this format, so there is nothing new to what we are doing," she adds.
According to analysts, the primary reason for most papers in India to reduce their sizes is as follows. "Newsprint is the most expensive raw material for a newspaper. Resizing would mean that you save a lot of on paper thereby bringing down costs, "says Sanjeeva Salian, senior general manager, production and distribution, Mid-day Multimedia Ltd. "For mainline papers such as HT, ToI or Business Standard, the strategy of resizing goes a step further," he affirms. "These papers have retained their eight column space, so ad revenue is not affected in anyway," he highlights.
Incidentally, Gujarati Mid-day, which resized a year ago, ahead of HT and Times this year (HT resized on February 3, 2002, followed by the Times group in April-May), has reduced the number of columns per page from the standard eight to seven. "This has affected ad revenue," Salian reiterates.
He points out, resizing of the paper calls for a certain amount of reengineering of the machines at the printing press. "But the benefits that accrue are too much to ignore," adds Salian in a matter-of-fact tone. © 2002 agencyfaqs!