The Tribune Co.'s flagship Chicago Tribune introduced a new newsstand product Monday, launching the Trib To-Go Edition in tabloid format. The paper was given out free, but will normally cost 75 cents daily and will not be available to home delivery subscribers.
So what do people think? Hard to say since they've disabled comments on Gerould Kern's letter to readers explaining the new edition.
What's also hard to figure out is to whom this new edition is for as it makes the third tab paper in Chicago after the Sun-Times, still only 50 cents, and the Trib's own Red Eye, which distributes free Monday through Saturday. Clearly this is a dagger aimed at the heart of the Sun-Times, which has a 60-year history of being Chicago's commuter-friendly paper, but is it more of a death knell for the Red Eye? How much longer can the Trib prop up its, entertainment- and youth-oriented step-sister, itself touted as a full edition of the mothership?
At best it seems market confusion is the plan for single-copy sales, hoping a two-prong assault from the minimally circulated Tribune newsstand edition and the Red Eye can envelop the Sun-Times. But for a paper few people bought before, a new edition with a 25-cent price increase hardly seems like an incentive for readers to try something new.