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Print, Online WSJ Will Be More In Tune After Design Changes

Updated at 11:17 p.m. Eastern: The print Journal will be linked more tightly to the Online Journal as part of a massive redesign slated for completion in January 2007. The 15-month project starts this mopnth and includes trimming the size of the print edition from 60-inches to the more standard 48-inch web width. The retrofitting cost is estimated at $43 million plus $13 million in training, development and marketing. Thereafter, the newsprint savings should run about $18 million.
The U.S. moves follow the already-announced transition in Europe and Asia to tabloid format, also with tighter integration to the Online Journal. That could give some clues of the changes to come in the U.S. Press release.

Update: ME Bill Grueskin highlighted some of those changes in his London speech last Friday to the Association of Online Publishers. When the compact edition of the Journal debuts in Europe and Asia the watermark will be a prominent part of the masthead. The print edition will have “frequent cues” to online content, designed to highlight what the company hopes will be seen as a seamless relationship between the two.
The same day the Online Journal will start a more outward-facing experiement when it launches partnerships with 10 other newspaper sites around the world. Each day those sites will translate a business story into English that the Journal will link to from its European and Asian editions. As Grueskin explains, “These links will provide our readers something of great value – their view and understanding of their economies – while we provide something back to those sites, that is, traffic from Wall Street Journal readers.”
Related: WSJ Europe, Asia Editions To Go Tabloid, Add Emphasis On Online Coverage