Fairfax to ditch weekend broadsheet papers for SMH and The Age

A year after swapping its Monday to Friday editions to compact size Fairfax Media is set to change its weekend editions from the broadsheet format, and close two of its printing plants at the same time.

The final broadsheet editions of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age will go to press on February 22, with the March 1 editions to be the first to be printed in the compact size.

In effect the move will only affect the front section of the weekend papers which is printed in the larger format, with many of the supplements already compact sized.

Fairfax has confirmed the move, and the closure of the Tullamarine and Chullora printing presses in Sydney and Melbourne respectively, a move signalled 18-months ago in the Fairfax of the Future plans.

Last March the publisher moved its weekday editions to compact size in a bid to stem circulation decline and create more appealing solutions for advertisers, and it also rolled out a new paywall for its websites on The Age and SMH in a bid to monetise its burgeoning digital readership.

However, Farifax CEO Greg Hywood has repeatedly poured cold water on claims by rival publisher News Limited it plans to close its weekday print editions as it looks to move to a more digital-centric approach, labelling them “absolute nonsense” last year.

However, The Canberra Times will continue to be printed as a broadsheet.



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