Notes on the Chicago Tribune — 5 Years Hence

I don’t remember who asked for this memo about the future or why we were looking at “five years hence” (1980).  This is probably one of my earliest “future look” memos.

At the time this was written, the Tribune was publishing both morning and afternoon editions.  Lots of them, as we had just merged the staffs of the afternoon newspaper {Chicago Today} and the morning Tribune. It was a grueling publishing schedule that was truly a 24-hour publishing cycle.

I still like this thought about giving readers more about what a story means.

We need to stop thinking “freshest is best”; a need to end the traditional cycle of publishing edition after edition, sometimes barely enough time to consider what the news means. The Tribune could reduce it cycle to two editions (major remakes) with replate options.  Continue to provide a morning and afternoon edition; new equipment will allow a savings in time – use the savings to give editors and reporters time to include the “what it means” in their story.

Here’s the full memo, a carbon copy from the “copy book” it was written on.