National Post revamps Saturday Toronto section

More of everything, plus a 're-energized' design. The National Post's new Toronto section is aimed at delivering a better read and a heftier payoff for advertisers in what's being touted as Toronto's meatiest weekend print venue.

The National Post debuted the redesign of its Saturday Toronto section on Feb. 17. Readers can now expect more comprehensive television listings and in-depth features like last weekend’s cover story on changes at the Royal Ontario Museum. At 48 pages, the revamped Toronto section will have two to four more pages than its pre-design average.

The changes are ‘meant to give it a longer shelf life,’ Stephen Hastings, VP marketing and reader sales, tells MiC. It was tweaked to look more like the Post style, ‘which is edgier and more irreverent,’ he says. ‘That’s one of the things that differentiates us in the marketplace.’

Hastings also says the Post ‘has increased and reorganized the sections – shopping, food and wine, more movie, television and gallery listings – as well as the advertising … so that advertisers’ messages are tightly focused against the (respective) editorial content.’

Hastings says the demographic for the Post‘s Saturday Toronto section mirrors that of the overall newspaper. In the Toronto area, this is as follows: 94% have household incomes in excess of $75,000, and 82% own their homes. Targeted readers are 25-49, have higher than average educational levels, and the gender skew is men 53%, women 46%.

Hastings declines to cite what lift is being projected to the current average Saturday circulation of 233,955. This is the first makeover this section has seen since the paper went to a tab format in Sept. 2005.

Promotion for the redesigned section is being incorporated into a campaign for the National Post that is currently rolling out. Hastings says it includes: outdoor on billboards as well as Toronto’s underground PATH network, in-station and in-train ads throughout GO Transit, same-day radio airing throughout the Greater Toronto Area, and house ads in the Post. Creative for the ‘National Post, A Better Read’ campaign was done in-house, and CanWest Media Services is handling the media buys.