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Globe and Mail: ambassadors of print

Globe and Mail: ambassadors of print

by Dean Roper

The Thompson family, owner of the Globe and Mail in Canada, turned many heads in the industry in 2008 when it signed a 1.7 billion-Canadian dollar deal with its printing partner Transcontinental to print the national daily until 2028.

"They believed that there was much more to come from print when everybody else, especially south of the border, was saying it was dead," says Phillip Crawley, CEO of the Globe and Mail. Mr. Crawley spoke at the WAN-IFRA Printing Summit 2011 Conference in Mainz, Germany.

Ever since that momentous day, Crawley says he etched the date of 1st October 2010 into the cortexes of Globe and Mail staff, the day the company would relaunch its newspaper in grand style.

At the core of the multi-platform launch was a completely redesigned newspaper, leveraging the capabilities of the new presses (KBA Commander CT triple-wides) that were bought and installed at Transcontinental, which has printed the Globe and Mail since 1995.

"The day those presses started up in October in Toronto was one of the most exciting days of my career," says Crawley.

With the relaunch, the Globe and Mail introduced new print products, especially for the weekend, such as Globe Life and Globe Style, incorporating different newsprint, glossy paper and covers, semi-commercial and more.

The results in six months since the launch are startling, he says:

  • The newspaper has increased circulation by 4.4 percent.
  • Globe Life has attracted 100 new advertisers and revenues are up 45 percent since its launch.
  • Globe Style, which features glossy paper (30 percent increase in prices for advertisers) throughout, thanks to two ovens on the printing presses that allows this type of production, has increased revenue 125 percent since its launch and is attracting advertisers that a newspaper normally would never attract. "L'Oreal is spending about 50,000 to 100,000 Canadian dollars a week in this edition," he says.
  • Readers overwhelmingly like the new narrow format and design, spending more time with each edition during the week and weekends.

Print was at the core of the relaunch, but the company redesigned and launched all of its multimedia products, including a new design and navigation for its website resulting in a 93 percent increase in daily traffic, growth in mobile by 200 percent, more downloads of its iPad app, and thousands more followers on social media.

And if Thompson had not already convinced the industry and its American counterparts of its confidence in newspapers, the Globe and Mail will move into a new building in three years. "We are proud to be ambassadors for print and newspapers," he says.


Anton Jolkovski


2011-04-07 17:20

Shaping the Future of the News Publishing

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