Rolling Stone ends large format after 4 decades

Rolling Stone magazine is shrinking with the times.

After more than four decades of standing out with a larger format than other magazines, it will step back and look like everyone else starting with the Oct. 30 issue, due out this week.

The adoption of a standard format could boost single-copy sales and reduce production costs for advertising inserts such as scent strips and tear-out postcards. The magazine says any cost savings, though, will be offset by the inclusion of more pages and the shift to thicker, glossier paper.

Rolling Stone chose Barack Obama, who is campaigning for president on a theme of change, for the cover of the Oct. 30 issue. By contrast, the last issue in the oversize format featured a cartoon of Obama’s opponent, John McCain. «Like the man we are featuring on the cover for the third time in seven months … we embrace the idea of change,» editor Jann S. Wenner wrote in the new issue. «Not change for the sake of change, but change as evolution and growth and renewal, change as the kind of cultural renaissance that gave birth to Rolling Stone more than four decades ago.»

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