From BRASS TACKS DESIGN, Fall 1998
Sunday circulation was dropping like a rock: In two years, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had lost 40,000 Sunday buyers, and stanching the flow appeared beyond the paper's reach — options seemed too small or slow-moving to do much good.
Brass Tacks Design had an idea: If the Sunday paper boasted a new section that by itself made the paper worth buying . . . well, people would buy it.
No such animal existed. Brass Tacks and the Post-Dispatch would have to create from scratch a section that offered what people most wanted to read. Stories on money. The sexes. Technology. Stuff about home and family.
It would have to be lively reading, jazzy and colorful, packed with equal parts entertainment and practical know-how. It would have to be quick to produce. Require no new editorial positions. And yield immediate results.
Aided by a team of Post-Dispatch editors, Brass Tacks conceived, edited and designed the prototype you see — moneysexestech&stuff — in just three days.
Market testing begins this fall. The section, along with a new-look Sunday front page aimed at trumpeting its contents, is due to hit the paper in January.
Post-Dispatch editor Cole Campbell says the section promises to educate, inform and entertain, just as Joseph Pulitzer would have wanted.
It also will give people a lot to talk about. Joe Pulitzer would have liked that, too.