January 20, 2004


Will Britainís Daily Telegraph go tabloid? Sounds like it, judging by these comments from one of the new owners:

Barclay said the Daily Telegraph may have to follow its nearest rival The Times and The Independent in printing a tabloid edition, aimed mainly at commuters, as well as the normal, full-sized paper.

"We would have to go all-tabloid if we did it, and my young family members like tabloids," Barclay told the Guardian.

"The broadsheet is associated with an older generation. So we might be forced to do it," he said.

There are also hints that the Telegraph may alter its conservative stance. Which would be a mistake; the Telegraph massively outsells the lefty Guardian and Independent.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 20, 2004 12:47 PM

They'd better not wreck my favourite newspaper, or the Barclay boys will have good reason to stay hidden on their island - I'll be after them with a shotgun.

Posted by: Alan Anderson at January 20, 2004 at 01:13 PM

I don't think they will alter the conservative stance of the paper, notice how loaded the question was:

"Asked if the Daily Telegraph - the preferred read of Britain's Conservative-voting bourgeoisie - would continue to be a tool for the main opposition party, David Barclay told the Guardian: "Certainly not." "

It won't 'continue' to be a 'tool' because it never has been. When they took over the Scotsman they appointed Andrew Neil to run it and it became more rightward leaning not less.

Posted by: - at January 20, 2004 at 01:30 PM

As a member of Britain's Conservative-voting bourgeoisie I can assure you that if the Daily Telegraph is brought round to support New Labour its circulation would collapse to Indy numbers overnight. I doubt that the Barclay brothers are unaware of this.

Posted by: rexie at January 20, 2004 at 06:13 PM

All newspapers should be tabloids, layout-wise, regardless of their content or the number of breasts on the third page therein. Broadsheets are a bugger to read out on the verandah in a strong wind. I always use my Medicare card to slash 'em down the spine so my Weekend Oz doesn't get origami'ed somewhere between Pearson and Price/ Kelly.

Posted by: Uncle Milk at January 20, 2004 at 08:51 PM

My understanding is that the Barclays are Tories themselves, so they won't change the orientation of the paper.

I'd rather they owned it than Desmond.

The Telegraph is probably the one broadsheet I would trust to keep its integrity if it did go tabloid. It's a wretch trying to read a broadsheet on the Tube.

Posted by: Alex at January 20, 2004 at 09:08 PM

"Asked if the Daily Telegraph - the preferred read of Britain's Conservative-voting bourgeoisie - would continue to be a tool for the main opposition party..."

Reads like something straight out of the Pravda, circa 1950's.

Posted by: madne0 at January 20, 2004 at 10:31 PM

The tabloid versions of the Times and Independent are big hits. For the moment there is a choice of two sizes. I read the Times, and I usually buy the tabloid. The Telegraph is clearly going to have to follow, although the Times deliberately launched its tabloid during the ownership confusion at the Telegraph in the hope that they couldn't do so quickly.

What will be interesting is to see if any of the papers try to do two sizes in the long term. This has never been practical for financial and logistics reasons before, but technology now makes this sort of customisation easier than it used to be.

Posted by: Michael Jennings at January 21, 2004 at 01:51 AM