Last week, editor Oly Duff wrote the following on inews.co.uk, explainging the changes to readers:
We’ve carefully evolved iWeekend: listening to what you like in a weekend paper and developing accordingly. This Saturday’s i will be a little different.
Recognisable, but giving you more of what you say you want from a weekend paper.
A lively, engaging read with a few more treats – and still with none of the supplements that often end up being “filed” into the recycling bin, unread.
That lack of “buyer’s remorse” remains integral to i’s appeal. While some Sunday newspapers’ sales are soft, the Saturday quality market has thrived, and nowhere more so than i – 40,000 more of you buy Saturday’s i than did two years ago. (Thank you.)
That has happened through careful evolution: listening to what you like in a weekend paper, and developing i accordingly.
We have adopted the same approach for our new “iWeekend” edition, out next Saturday. We have not torn up the good things about our current Saturday paper – but we have addressed a few weaknesses.
For starters: a breathless pace and too few features, on a day when readers sometimes like to lean back over a cuppa, and revel in a superb piece of prose, or gripping human yarn. So we have kept up the high story count, but interspersed the many short articles (so fundamental to i’s DNA) with short reads that change the pace. Your iWeekend should now last more of the weekend.
Saturday is a day of action as well as a chance to kick back from the challenges of the week. The “old” Saturday i sometimes carried too little “actionable” (helpful) content – from money and travel to TV picks. So we have changed this, and also looked a little further ahead, to give you a shot at priority booking for that show or gig you fancy.
Sharper news reporting, a proper culture section, revamped travel, high-profile guest columnists, a richer experience for sport fans and, for those of you who like puzzles, a four-page pullout sheet carrying a new jumbo general knowledge crossword and Mensa brain teasers.
For comparison purposes, the Saturday Guardian is currently £2.90, The Times £1.70, the Telegraph £2, the Mirror £1.10, the Mail £1, and the Financial Times £3.80.
All of those titles, when dropped through the letterbox, are likely to cause serious injury to pets or small people.
The design is a little cleaner, more relaxing, and you should find more humour and joy dotted about its pages. Priced at 80 pence – or 31 pence a day via subscription, if that appeals to you – I trust that the new edition will prove excellent value for you.
We value your time, as well as your money. I hope that you enjoy this Saturday’s first edition of iWeekend. It will evolve – and your views and ideas will be essential, as ever, to its development.
Links / further reading: you can find a dummy edition laid out here.