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Newspapers slim down

THE publishers of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News offered free copies of their newly slimmed-down editions on newsstands yesterday, looking to jump-start a bold experiment in the economics of the United States newspaper industry in which both papers will be delivered only three days a week.

Gannett Co and MediaNews Group Inc, the companies that publish the newspapers in partnership, said more than 500,000 copies were distributed free for the first time in their history.

Today the Free Press and the News will be sold for their regular retail price. But home delivery has been cut to Thursday, Friday and Sunday, the most popular editions among advertisers.

The strategy is aimed at slashing production and delivery costs while retaining enough print ad revenue to sustain news-gathering operations in the midst of a deep recession and an ongoing shift toward digital media.

Both papers have added new features, but will be kept to about 32 pages on the four days they don't deliver, meaning less editorial content.


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