Chicago's RedEye Offers Weekend Edition

Tribune's Free Commuter Paper Tries Saturday Home Delivery

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- The Chicago Tribune started an industrywide trend in 2002 when it launched RedEye, a mostly free weekday tabloid aimed at young commuters. Now it's trying to reach those same commuters when they aren't commuting -- with free home delivery of a new weekend edition.
The weekend RedEye 'will add to Chicago Tribune's suite of products that provide targeting capabilities across demographic and geographic segments.'
The weekend RedEye 'will add to Chicago Tribune's suite of products that provide targeting capabilities across demographic and geographic segments.'

"We're still focused on young urban commuters, and this is a way to reach them where they're at on the weekend," said RedEye Publisher Brad Moore.

RedEye was launched primarily as a commuter product, designed for the short attention spans of young readers trying to get the gist of the day's news in the time it takes the elevated train to reach their offices. While it was never particularly heavy on hard news, Mr. Moore said the new Saturday edition of RedEye will be tweaked to reflect a greater emphasis on weekend activities such as shopping, travel and Saturday-night activities.

Like a cable-TV provider
The new edition is the latest example of a major newspaper operating more like a cable-TV provider, offering a suite of distinct products for distinct audiences -- a break from the one-size-fits-all tradition of their flagship editions.

According to a Tribune press release, the new RedEye "will add to Chicago Tribune's suite of products that provide targeting capabilities across demographic and geographic segments."

Tribune Co.'s Chicago holdings may be the best example of this approach in the nation: The media conglomerate owns the city's leading newspaper and regional magazine, its top-rated radio station, a CW TV affiliate, a local cable-news channel, a number of the city's top entertainment and sports websites, and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

Unusual lengths
Of course, in offering free home delivery, the Tribune is going to unusual lengths to try to extend RedEye's reach to the weekend.

The increased expense of sending free copies to subscriber homes is justified, he said, by the opportunity to offer RedEye advertisers geographically targeted pre-print advertising, which the weekday RedEye doesn't deliver, hurting it with food and grocery advertisers.

Mr. Moore said the paper plans to deliver about 100,000 copies of its weekend edition. It currently prints 150,000 copies per day during the week.
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