Rolling Stone Shrinks Down to Standard Size


“The times they are a changing” some musician said to somebody at some point. And so they are. As we mentioned last month, Rolling Stone is undergoing something of a re-design, but not of the Roger Black variety. Instead, Jann Wenner has decided to ax the very large format they’ve been using for eons (approx. 10×12) and trim it down into the standard, typical magazine size (approx. 8×11), all in the attempt to raise circulation rates and get readers back on board. And yes, they’ll also be doing a little more than just shrinking the thing; they’ll also be printing on new, heavier stock, using glue now instead of staples, and will undergo a yet-seen (suspected minor) overall redesign. They also plan to increase the number of pages in each issue, which is explained in this bit from the NY Times:

To save money on paper, many newspapers and magazines have taken to printing smaller pages, fewer pages or both. But Rolling Stone says it will spend more and print more, not less: in addition to using more expensive paper and binding, it plans to add 16 to 20 pages per issue.

Well, yes, but when you’re shrinking down the pages by more than two inches, doesn’t it stand to reason that, to keep the same length of every article, that’s going to wind up extending the page count? Granted, probably not by “16 to 20 pages per issue” but shrinking it down by that much still has to account for adding a least a couple of those.