KwaZulu-Natal’s historic newspaper, The Witness, is making history again. It will produce two newspapers in two different formats within a single production cycle. The Durban Witness is changing to tabloid format, and will be easily distinguished from the Pietermaritzburg Witness, which will remain in broadsheet format.
André Olivier, general manager at Media24 for The Witness, says advertisers can now reach almost the whole of Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) through a single newspaper brand, with different size options for advertisements based on the region. The Durban Witness tabloid edition will have a whole new look and feel and the editorial content will be locally oriented to the city, unless a major national story dictates otherwise.
Olivier says advertisers will now be able to achieve page dominance at a fraction of the cost, compared to a broadsheet paper. The redesigned Durban Witness will have an interesting layout style, free from advertising clutter.
“We are open to any new creative ideas of course, but the editor will still have to approve them. The size is more convenient and the editorial content will be aimed at LSM 8-10 and predominantly the female buyer, who influences most household purchases,” says Olivier.
The Witness as a brand is entrenched in the Pietermaritzburg and KZN inland community. These communities see The Witness as their newspaper and are exceptionally loyal to the brand. The engagement level from subscribers is the highest in the country compared to any other newspaper (according to research done through the Media24 call centre).
“Although the Durban edition is aimed at a different market, The Witness brand is still something we are extremely proud of, and we will grow our brand equity in the new market through quality content and high service levels,” says Olivier.
Andrew Trench will remain the editor of both editions.
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