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Changes Already at the Reader

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 30, 2007 1:00PM

2007_07_readerlogo.jpgWell, Creative Loafing hasn't even owned the Reader for a week, and already the Tampa-based company is leaving its mark. Creative Loafing CEO Ben Eason announced Friday that the Old Gray Doorstop's going to become a traditional tabloid. In addition to moving ad and page design and some production functions of the paper to Atlanta and printing the paper to Fayetteville, N.C., Eason told Crain's Chicago Business that they're going to combine the Reader's three sections into "one fat section." Hearing that, we're getting visions of the Mastodon burger at Kuma's.

In a memo to staff and freelancers at the paper, Reader Editor Alison True wrote that the switch to a tabloid was in the works "way before any talk of a sale." The memo also acknowledged that losing its production department will be particularly hard for the paper. "It's hard to imagine making this paper without them," True wrote. Having lived in this city most of our life, we're going to have to get used to the adjustment of picking up a tabloid version of the Reader. It's possible that the change to a tabloid will be a good thing, but there's still a bit of that "New Coke" feeling about it.

The Reader will also be looking for a new home. Plans are under way for the building that houses the Reader's offices at 11 E. Illinois to be sold, and the Reader will find new office space within the next eighteen months.