OLD Media Moves

Crain’s Chicago’s appeal to younger readers

December 10, 2014

Posted by Chris Roush

Crain's chicagoEric Zorn of The Chicago Tribune writes how Crain’s Chicago Business has dropped gender titles in a bid to win younger readers.

Zorn writes, “‘There was a sense that courtesy titles elevated the tone and made us a more respectable platform,’ said Crain’s Editor Michael Arndt, who ordered the change.. ‘But as we were trying to appeal to younger readers, it also made us look like your dad’s website. Kind of stodgy.’

“Upon reflection, he added a few more adjectives: ‘pretentious, anachronistic, archaic, fusty.’

“Exactly. There was a stiffness and clumsy formality to even the most graceful prose as it thudded repeatedly on the old honorifics. Each gratuitous ‘Mr.’ ‘Mrs.’ ‘Miss’ or ‘Ms.’ appeared not so much respectful as nostalgic, a yearning for a return to the days when all but the closest acquaintances addressed one another with titles and surnames.

“Most publications did away with courtesy titles for men decades ago, but it wasn’t until February 2000 that The Associated Press eliminated them for women.”

Read more here.

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