At the Times, Peter Stothard decreed that Saturday papers should therefore have a different feel. So different that heads of the news departments were kicked out of the building and a dedicated team ruled. Stories about strikes and politics struggled to find a home between special projects on Big Brother and the upsurge in cheesemaking cottage industries. It wasn't long before the hard-nosed hard-news set were talking disparagingly about "fluffy Friday".
Most papers adopted a similar strategy; all added new supplements, magazines, TV guides, and the Saturday editions became as cumbersome as the Sundays. With so much room elsewhere for fluff and chatter, news reasserted itself in the main books, although the legacy of the long read, the interview, the serialisation, the light spread survived.
Looking at the papers today SubScribe hankered after the old fluffy Friday. There is a superabundance of sex, but it's not cuddly sex or passionate sex, it's predatory paedophilia and drunken fumblings.
For the drugs and rock'n'roll, we turn to the Sun, which has a pop star taking drugs (yawn), and the Star with Simon Cowell's gay sex drug shock. Go on, admit it, you're dying to know. Well, the shock bit comes when Amanda Holden asks him if he is sniffing poppers - the "gay sex drug". The answer was apparently "no". Cowell regularly used smelling salts to clear his head before a show. This is possibly more compelling than the deceit: "bring on the smelling salts", with its delicate Victorian lady connotations, applied to the all-powerful Cowell has a certain je ne sais quoi.
The Telegraph and Times are equally gloomy in their own way - or perhaps lacklustre is a better word - the Telegraph has an archetypal Daily Mail splash on the "unfair" tax burden on families with stay-at-home mums, but without the headline-writing flair of its tabloid role model.
The Express should have won for its "black box found" head (because it hasn't been) but the way the Queen is laughing her head off at the very notion makes it a page to treasure.
As we've said before, Saturday papers are huge and juggling the flatplan and the schedule to create a balanced, readable paper is an art. Nowhere is its importance more apparent than in today's Mail, which - unusually - fails to such an extent that the reader loses the will to live halfway through the news section.
This prepares us for the nitty gritty - five pages of Cyril Smith (which allows plenty of room to have another bash at the evil trio Hewitt, Dromey and Harman).
The paper is clearly pleased with its book serialisation and wants to make the most of it. You can't blame it, it's a good story. But how unfortunate that publication should coincide with the end of the Nigel Evans trial. For we have only a moment to fret about our offshore fortunes being taxed and the remember Sue Townsend before we have to face this..
The Amanda Platell column is followed by the beheaded mum we met in the Mirror, a spread on the murdered millionaire and another spread on murdered British soldiers.
It's just all too much in one run. A supplement on baby George can't change it - and there will be many parents who won't want their children picking up their paper today.
That isn't a good idea. Let's bring back good old fluffy Friday.