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I'm not saying it can't work, but they're putting an immense burden on their photo editors and illustrators. From the Crain's article it's hard to judge the product generally--the pages they show are pretty blah, but that's because the F1 is about water bottles, and good luck with that. If it was about a very pretty person or something blowing up, it might look awesome.
If the Trib puts a lot of effort into the transparent, attractive visual display of quantitative information, it could be an appealing and engaging product, and certainly more commuter-friendly. If they make it look like USA Today only with cheap clip art instead of cheap illustrations, it'll look less like RedEye and more like a corporate brochure. The New York Times has been a model of the former in recent years, especially its sports magazine, Play (more).