Today, the Free Press of Burlington, Vt., launched a redesign and a new format.

Gone is the broadsheet the paper has published for 186 years. As of today, the paper is a tabloid — a “tall tab,” to be precise. Also known as a “super compact” or a “three-around.” The new page dimensions are 11 inches wide x 15 inches tall.

On the left is Tuesday’s front page. On the right is today’s front.


In addition, the paper now has color on every page, thanks to a $2.4 million overhaul of its 45-year-old presses.

The redesign work was done at Gannett’s Asbury Park Design Studio. Director Tim Frank tells us:

This is not just a redesign. It’s also a conversion of the Free Press to [CCI] NewsGate and the introduction of a new design team to the paper.

This is the eleventh paper that we’ve brought into the studio and it usually takes a few weeks for the new partnership to develop a rhythm. The work really can accelerate from that point on. I am really stoked by the long-term possibilities.

Here’s a closer look at today’s front:

Editor Michael Townsend wrote this week via Facebook:

Our remarkable advertising staff has enabled us to begin our new venture with an 80-page edition. Unbelievable.

Also posted to Facebook Wednesday was this picture of Mike admiring the new edition.

Yesterday, by the way, was Mike’s 60th birthday.

In addition, the Free Press installed a paywall for web content. Hence, I have no links for you to to stories the paper might have posted about its changes. Find this press release, however, from last February.

Average daily circulation of the Free Press is 31,095.

Two other similar format changes coming up this year:

  • Sept. 10: Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch (circulation 135,330) will convert to the same dimensions Burlington is using: 11 inches wide x 15 inches tall. Read more about that here.
  • October: Cincinnati (Ohio) Enquirer (circulation 140,877) will convert to pages reportedly 10.5 inches wide x 14.5 inches wide. Consultant Ron Reason has been involved in rethinking the Enquirer for its move. Read about that here.