After 216 years of broadsheet life, The Times today followed in the footsteps of The Independent, moving to a compact only format after almost a year of dual publication.
Announcing the move late on Friday evening, The Times editor Robert Thomson said: "This is a significant moment in the 216-year history of The Times. The launch of the compact has transformed the fortunes of the newspaper and made The Times even more influential as Britain's journal of record, informs Media Bulletin.
The move comes as the latest circulation figures show The Times -- owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International -- posted a third consecutive year-on-year increase.
The Times said its circulation rose by 14,536 copies, up 2.28 percent on the year, giving it a total of 652,264 copies. Full price sales were up more than 3 percent in the same period.
Sales of the compact edition has reached 300,000, representing 46 percent of the newspaper's total sales.
One of the major factors in the all-tabloid format was the cost of producing two separate versions of the same newspaper -- estimated to be about Ј15 million ($26 million) a year, informs CNN International.
According to The Times, Dear Times Reader, Monday, November 1, 2004, marks another important date in The Times’s long and extraordinary history, a history highlighted by changes in format and appearance, but whose constant has been quality journalism. Over the past 216 years The Times has played a pivotal role in British society and it remains by far the most influential of British newspapers. The Times was the first paper to employ a foreign correspondent, and it now has more staff correspondents abroad than at any time in its history. The paper’s business coverage is read by far more business people than that of any other quality newspaper in Britain, and the originality and variety of our columnists are rightly renowned. None of that will change, but from today The Times will be a compact newspaper.
The Times has been the beacon of fine journalism in this country and around the world. Our new format ensures that The Times will continue to prosper and to perform its unique and crucial role in British society.