Britain's Daily Telegraph broadsheet is playing down speculation that it will be the next paper to publish in two formats.
Senior executives admit a tabloid version is "ready to go", but Kim Fletcher, editorial director at the paper's parent Telegraph Group, last week dismissed rumours it would launch today (Monday) as "fantastical". Sources at the title's printers also claimed no knowledge of a new format.
Nevertheless, insiders insist that doubts about the papers future -- it is an asset of ailing newspaper empire Hollinger International -- will not hinder the decision to print a smaller version.
Designed to appeal to cramped commuters, tabloid editions have become all the rage in the UK broadsheet market since September, when The Independent became the first paper in the world to publish in two formats [WAMN: 26-Sep-03].
The Independent's initiative proved such a success -- sales soared by 7.7% in its aftermath -- that other papers have drawn up plans to follow suit. Last week The Times decided to launch a tabloid [WAMN: 24 Nov-03], and initial estimates suggest it sold 20,000 extra copies as a result.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff