Sunday “does not live upon a story, but upon a concept”. So says Dražen Klarić of the Croatian publisher Večernji list’s bold investment in print.
The “new concept” of a Sunday print edition was launched last August, and has since been delivering rapid increases in subscriptions and advertising.
In an INMA Ideas blog this week, editor-in-chief Klarić tells how Večernji list – one of Croatia’s most influential media brands – launched a new concept of its Sunday print edition.
“Both a brand-new format and form have been introduced, while the newspaper itself consists of four separate thematic units,” he says. Sections for politics and society, the world, culture and sport, and “great life interviews with strong personalities” make the new product a can’t-miss piece of reading for those striving to truly find out more.
Despite the risks, the Zagreb-based publisher sought to trigger a change in reading habits in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. “After two months it was evident that the risk paid off as we saw an increase in circulation, the number of subscribers, and advertising revenue,” Klarić says.
In an age of summaries, it provides “the essence of journalism” – information enhanced through research, analysis and attitude. “Nowadays when the so-called fake news has become our reality, the new Sunday provides a safe haven for readers, as well as an anchor and a reference point for other media.
“It is a newspaper that lives from Sunday to Sunday, and it is continuously fresh, smart, respectable, and interesting.”
Themed issues include national and international analyses by authority figures, as well as the identification and contextualisation of trends, building trust “not by pampering readers but through honest journalism with a code of high professional standards.
“This is the newspaper for the 21st century, one that arouses intellectual curiosity and invites you to read it,” he says.
Sunday editor Robert Bubalo says readers have recognised the new Sunday as “something different and modern, without screaming sensationalism”, while art director Zoran Birman says the new format “allows us to play with design and to make the photos stand out”.
Launch of the new Sunday concept brought a circulation increase of 24.8 per cent, month-on-month, while the number of subscribers increased by 6.40 per cent. From August to December during the coronavirus pandemic, advertising revenue on Sundays rose by 71.39 per cent compared with the first six months of the year.
Dražen Klarić says the project proved that continuous change is imperative. “Based on these results, it can be concluded that print media are far from reaching their end and that with new concepts adapted to the readers, they are about to face a bright future.”
Pictured (from left): Art director Zoran Birman, Dražen Klarić and editor Robert Bubalo