The Oz tells Fairfax readers to Think Again

THE AUSTRALIAN has announced a multi-million dollar relaunch campaign in an effort to boost readers, take on Fairfax, and position itself to benefit from the imminent “upturn” in fortunes for newspapers.

The national broadsheet will use the slogan “Think. Again.” to invite readers into the improved newspaper, which will feature new sections, an increase in content from the Wall Street Journal, more puzzles, TV and arts coverage, and a redesigned Weekend Australian Magazine.

A promotional campaign will run across free-to-air and pay TV, radio, online, outdoor and in News Ltd’s print titles featuring an impressive array of Aussie personalities endorsing The Australian, starting this Wednesday.

Editor Paul Whittaker told PANPA the timing of the investment coincides with a turning point for the conditions under which newspapers are operating.

“Companies have to position themselves for the upturn, which appears to be underway now,” he said.

A new features section called “A Plus” will be launched, featuring an extended games section, and more arts, entertainment and TV listings and reviews.

Mr Whittaker said A Plus is a deliberate challenge on Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. The broader appeal of A Plus is about “giving Fairfax readers an excuse not to read them,” he said.

Arts coverage will be state-based, giving readers a localised perspective of what’s on.

There will be a second page of Wall Street Journal coverage added to the business section, as well as more world news including a stronger focus on high-quality world commentary from the WSJ, the New York Times and other sources.

In addition to the Weekend Australian Magazine revamp, the weekend Review section will be transformed into a separately stitched and trimmed insert.

The editor-in-chief of The Australian, Chris Mitchell, said: “We are investing significantly in more content relevant to our core demographic. The latest audit figures prove The Australian’s sales are strong and performing exceptionally well in comparison with all other major daily newspapers. The time is right to build on this market advantage and from it leverage further sales.”

The likes of Ray Martin, Tetsuya, Gerry Harvey, Peter Cosgrove, Grant Hackett, Tim Horan, Collette Dinnigan and Phillip Adams will appear in the promotional campaign, asking potential readers to “Think. Again.” about what issues matter to them, according to a company statement.

Mr Whittaker said the message also meant people should reconsider The Australian and what it offers as a product.

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