updated 10/17/2005 8:33:32 AM ET 2005-10-17T12:33:32

The Wall Street Journal debuted a smaller, tabloid format in its European and Asian newspapers Monday, saying the changes would make its articles more accessible to readers.

The Asian paper also changed its name, from The Asian Wall Street Journal to The Wall Street Journal Asia.

The changes are part of a series of moves that parent company Dow Jones & Co. has said will better serve the needs of its "highly mobile" international readers and its advertisers. The company says that such changes will save about $17 million annually, beginning next year.

Wall Street Journal Europe editor Raju Narisetti said in a note to readers that the redesigned paper — which the Journal calls "compact" — would contain a mixture of in-depth, analytical stories and shorter news pieces. It will also use more color, and a new typeface, called Exchange.

"We've organized the redesigned Journal Europe in such a way that it makes it easy for readers to get information they need," Narisetti wrote.

An editorial in the Asian edition assured readers the paper was still dedicated to "providing high-quality news and commentary."

Many other newspapers have reduced their size in recent years, responding to higher newsprint costs and research finding that many readers prefer smaller newspapers.

The Hong Kong-based Asian paper — founded in 1976 — also announced staff changes.

Peter Stein, the former managing editor, has been named Hong Kong bureau chief, the paper said in a statement. The new managing editor will be Ann Podd, a former business editor at the New York Daily News, the statement said.

The U.S. edition of the Wall Street Journal will be shrinking its format slightly, but not to tabloid size, Dow Jones announced last week.

The reduction and redesign of the U.S. edition would bring its size into line with other major newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and USA Today.

Those changes will be phased in over the next few months and continue through next year, with the smaller U.S. format appearing in January 2007 after the presses in the Journal's 17 printing locations are adjusted.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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