The author of Press Gazette's comic column Grey Cardigan, the curmudgeonly local daily paper down table sub-editor, knows the regional press inside out. When he writes in the December issue of the magazine: "I know for a fact, confirmed by colleagues elsewhere, that the financial crisis facing our industry is far worse than many people realise," then we know things are serious.
Grey continues: "There are evening newspapers out there actually running at a loss in bad weeks. Weeklies are faring marginally better, but only because of a lower cost-base propping up a diminishing cover-price revenue. The time is clearly coming when when we shall lose small dailies, either converted into weeklies like the Bath Chronicle or into complete extinction."
His answer to the crisis in the regional press is a return to local ownership. Grey asks:"Why can't the big groups sell off their failing titles to people who would actually love and nurture them?"