In August 2020, Večernji list, one of the most influential media brands in Croatia, launched a new concept of its Sunday print edition. Both a brand-new format and form have been introduced, while the newspaper itself consists of four separate thematic units.
Despite the risks, the brand decided to trigger a change in reading habits in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. After two months it was evident that the risk paid off as we saw an increase in circulation, the number of subscribers, and advertising revenue.
The new concept of Sunday by Večernji list defies the trends. In the age of summaries, it provides the essence of journalism — the information enhanced through research, analysis, and attitude. Nowadays when the so-called fake news — i.e. incorrect, invented, or only partially true information that spreads fast through social networks and media platforms — has become our reality, the new Sunday provides a safe haven for readers, as well as an anchor and a reference point for other media. It is a newspaper that lives from Sunday to Sunday, and it is continuously fresh, smart, respectable, and interesting.
Sunday does not live upon a story, but upon a concept. Four sections — politics and society, the world, culture and sport, and great life interviews with strong personalities — all make the new Sunday a can’t-miss piece of reading for those striving to truly find out more.
Each themed issue includes national and international analyses by authority figures, as well as the identification and contextualisation of trends. It builds trust not by pampering readers but through honest journalism with a code of high professional standards. The new Sunday does not hesitate to ask and question; without curiosity, there is no journalism. A strong newspaper cannot be developed without strong authors. This is the newspaper for the 21st century, one that arouses intellectual curiosity and invites you to read it.
Readers embrace the change
Sunday Editor Robert Bubalo noted that readers have recognised the new Sunday as something different and modern, without screaming sensationalism. The new format allows us to play with design and to make the photos stand out, said Zoran Birman, art director.
In a short period, our readers have identified the advantages of the new Sunday concept. When it launched in August, the circulation on Sundays soared by 24.8% from the month before. The number of subscribers on Sundays increased by 6.40%. From August to December during the coronavirus pandemic, advertising revenue on Sundays sharply rose by 71.39% compared with the first six months of the year.
Two months after the launch of new Sunday, a survey was conducted among Večernji list subscribers on a sample of 500 respondents. In that survey, 92.83% of respondents said the new concept was richer in terms of content. Concerning the impressions on the new format and content, 70.40% of respondents said they like both the new format and the new content.
This project by Večernji list proved that continuous change is imperative. Based on these results, it can be concluded that print media are far from reaching their end and that with new concepts adapted to the readers, they are about to face a bright future.