Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra are set to get a new print newspaper in 2014 – The Saturday Paper. Published by the team behind The Monthly, this new newspaper is to be distributed exclusively through newsagents.
I met some of the team behind The Saturday Paper a couple of months ago to discuss newsagent engagement. Their support for our channel was excellent. They are keen to get it right – from an excellent quality newspaper product to distribution through the channel Australians trust and love.
This launch is an opportunity for newsagents to embrace.
Here is a copy of the press release announcing the newspaper:
The Saturday Paper – A new newspaper from the publisher of the Monthly
Morry Schwartz, publisher of the Monthly and Quarterly Essay, is announcing the launch of a new weekly newspaper called The Saturday Paper. The first issue will be published in the first quarter of 2014.
The paper is being launched exclusively through newsagents. It will not be distributed to supermarkets. “I have always loved walking into a newsagent,” The Saturday Paper’s publisher, Morry Schwartz, said. “We want this paper to be important business for you because you are important to our business. We will give newsagents a 27 per cent commission on sales. We will do everything we can to make this work for you. While other publishers might have forgotten you, we want to launch as the newsagent’s friend.”
Like its sister publications, The Saturday Paper will publish long-form journalism on the country’s most important issues. It will be fiercely independent and offer the definitive news source for readers who want depth at the end of a cluttered weekly news cycle. Everything about the paper has been envisaged to make it a luxury product, from its marquee contributors to its heavy stock and crisp designs by Studio Round.
“This is something I have wanted to do since I first got into publishing 40 years ago. Now is the perfect time,” Morry Schwartz said. “I believe in quality journalism. I believe in print. While some in the industry have convinced themselves of terminal decline, I believe an audience exists for a new player to come in and do journalism better than anyone else. I am launching this newspaper because I know it will work.”
The CEO of the Monthly and The Saturday Paper, Rebecca Costello, said: “The Monthly has been recognised by the Australian Magazine Awards as one of the best magazines in Australia, and advertisers have been asking us to produce our quality content more often – to reach an audience that is not available anywhere else. The recent significant growth in revenue at the Monthly and themonthly.com.au confirms this and has put us in the perfect position to launch a new title.”
The Saturday Paper will be edited by former Sydney Morning Herald journalist Erik Jensen. Erik’s work has appeared in the Monthly and New Statesman and he is a winner of the Walkley Award for Young Print Journalist of the Year. He has also won the United Nations Association of Australia’s Media Peace Award and is the author of a forthcoming biography of the painter Adam Cullen.
“Erik is a gifted young editor. He has impressed me with his innate feel for news and his deep understanding of what makes a story,” Morry Schwartz said. “He is a natural provocateur and he will ensure we have a paper that is lively and important – that sees through the flaws in current newspapers and makes print vital again.”
In addition to news and politics, the paper will offer innovative lifestyle content and deep arts coverage. But the core of what it does will be what other papers struggle to do: long-form, investigative accounts of key stories. Like the Monthly – which has been publishing for eight years as the country’s leading current affairs magazine – it is launching because it is confident a gap exists in the market for quality long-form journalism.
The Saturday Paper’s editor, Erik Jensen, said: “The Saturday Paper is a chance to remake print journalism for a new generation. Morry and I have spent 18 months breaking apart newspapers and putting together a new kind of title that reconsiders how newspapers should do news. This is the sort of newspaper people want to read, but which doesn’t currently exist.”
The Saturday Paper will publish 48 times a year and will be distributed initially to metro areas in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. In addition to its tabloid print edition, it will launch with a fully responsive website and apps for mobile and tablet.