Frequently asked questions

Below we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions in relation to these changes, if your question isn’t answered below, please email, or if you want to find out more about advertising in our publications, please email

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What is compact format?

The size of a compact newspaper is smaller in height and width than the traditional newspaper page size. Stuff’s community newspapers and the Sunday News are already published in compact format.

Which papers are changing size?

The weekday papers that are changing to compact format are:

North Island

  • Waikato Times
  • Manawatu Standard
  • Taranaki Daily News
  • The Dominion Post

South Island

  • Marlborough Express
  • Nelson Mail
  • The Press
  • The Timaru Herald
  • The Southland Times

Please note that weekend papers will be staying in their existing format.

Does this impact all newspapers in the Portfolio?

Yes and no: The modular sizing of display advertisements will roll across all our papers including the communities and the weekend editions, but only the Monday to Friday papers will be moving to the compact format. The weekend papers are staying the same size as they currently are.

Do you have any examples of the new look papers?

We’ve created prototypes of each of the new papers – you can look through them here.

What does this mean to advertisers?

Along with a refreshed look and feel that readers will love, we are also taking the opportunity to realign our approach to advertising and layout. This means advertising sizes for display advertisements will change to match other publications in the marketplace. We are also changing the terminology used to size ads, from cms and columns to “modules”. Read an overview of changes to advertising in all papers here.

Please note that this change doesn’t apply to classified advertising, which will remain in cm and columns.

Are there new ratecards?

Yes, you can see all the new rate cards here.

What will happen to my forward booked ads?

Advertisers who regularly book advertisements that are a quarter page and under will receive slightly more space for the same price in the compact format. Advertisers regularly booking sizes a quarter page and larger, will have a number of options to consider, which your account manager will take you through.

What are the new advertising shapes and sizes?

You can see all the new advertising options on the new rate cards here, or you can see how we will convert advertisements smaller than a broadsheet quarter page to the new modular sizes here.

Why are you changing?

The introduction of the new size is based on feedback we received from customers during research undertaken in May 2016, as well as international research results that show compact-sized newspapers are well accepted by readers as they are much more convenient to read on the go. This change signals that Stuff is committed to ensuring the continuity of our regional and metropolitan papers.

What research is this based on?

We engaged third party research and insights company The Thinking Studio to conduct research with our readers across the country, in a bid to help us understand what readers liked and did not like about our papers, and identify opportunities to improve the delivery of printed news. The major findings were that compact format was regarded as preferable, as it was easy to read and handle, and that print newspaper readers wanted more local content than we were currently providing.

How will this change impact on reader numbers?

Our intention is that the newspapers meet existing reader needs better. We have made a significant investment in marketing the change to our readership across various channels, to not only retain our loyal customers but to also introduce new readers to our newspapers, and as a result, grow readership. Read an overview of the marketing program for readers here.

What about classified advertising and the AgTrader?

Please note that classified advertising and the AgTrader will remain in cm and columns.

Will my advertisement still be as effective as it was on the broadsheet size?

Yes, and in some cases it can be even more effective. When our Fairfax counterparts in Australia moved to a compact size they conducted neuroscience research with a third party Neuro Insight, to understand the impacts of moving to compact on reader engagement with advertising. They uncovered four key findings:

  1. Compact is a more engaging reading experience and this engagement transfers to advertising.
  2. Advertising gets 50% more attention in compact.
  3. Increased engagement + increased attention = more effective advertisements.
  4. Some advertisements work better in compact than broadsheet.


What marketing will you do to support the change with readers and subscribers?

This change will be supported by easily the biggest marketing investment we have put behind newspapers for many years. This includes an external promotion to engage and get new readers to try the new papers, as well as significant support from across the Stuff print and digital portfolio. Read an overview of the marketing program for readers here.

Will local news be sacrificed as part of this move to compact?

No. Our research shows us that readers value local news above all else and we will ensure that is core to the compact version of the paper. Read all the improvements we have made to the content in the compact newspapers here.

Does this affect Saturday and Sunday broadsheet papers?

The format of the Saturday and Sunday papers won’t change, but the advertising sizing will change to modular for all weekend papers. Read about changes to the advertising of all newspapers here.

Why aren’t the weekend newspapers changing to compact?

The larger broadsheet format is much better suited to a longer weekend read, as audiences are more likely to read their weekend newspaper while relaxing at home rather than consuming it at the breakfast table or on the go. Additionally, the weekend papers generally have more pages, and the larger format makes this easier to manage for the reader.