The TIMES NEWS will be shedding a couple of inches around its girth on Monday.

The newspaper will be adopting the new industry standard of 22-inches wide paper, two inches less than today's edition, which will help the environment, be more user friendly, contribute to cost-cutting measures and thus, reduce the possibility of a subscription rate increase.

"We're doing it to cut costs so we don't have to consider raising subscription rates," said Fred L., TN publisher.

He said the cost of newsprint – the huge rolls of paper needed to print the newspaper – increased by $35 per ton effective Sept. 1 and will be increased by another $35 per ton on Oct. 1. An additional price hike from newsprint suppliers is scheduled next March.

Reducing the width "is an opportunity for us to try to keep getting the paper out without raising prices to subscribers," said.

Len Alabovitz, plant manager, said reducing the size of the newspaper's width by two inches will save more than 100,000 pounds (50 tons) of newsprint per year, based on 305 publishing days.

He said today's TIMES NEWS on the 24-inch wide paper required 3,465 pounds of paper to produce, which is over one million pounds of paper a year.

Masenheimer said the last time the newspaper went to a thinner format was when it was reduced from 25 inches to the present 24 inches. At that time, the management of the newspaper opted to "squeeze" the image electronically.

Effective Monday, "It will be full-size type," the publisher said. "We believe it will be more readable."

Both Alabovitz and pointed out that a 22-inch wide daily newspaper has become the accepted industry standard.

"Last year, when the price of paper went through the roof, publishers started looking at reducing the width of the paper," Alabovitz explained. He said this has proven to be a method for using less newsprint.

"When the major newspaper companies start doing it, the ad agencies create their ads to that standard," Alabovitz said, noting that most camera-ready ads coming from advertising agencies already come through adjusted for the 22-inch paper.

He said the length of the newspaper can't be adjusted on the presses. The TIMES NEWS will remain 21 1/2 inches in length.

Besides saving costs, the new width helps the environment. Alabovitz said, "Ninety-five percent of the newsprint we use is made with recycled paper. But there is still that 5 percent which is virgin wood."