The Barking and Dagenham Post is bracing itself for a £250,000 fall in annual advertising revenue following the launch of Barking and Dagenham Council’s fortnightly newspaper-style free The News, according to the Newspaper Society.
An editor, deputy editor, three reporters and an advertising representative have been employed to produce The News which takes third party and council advertising and was launched at the end of May.
A Freedom of Information request made by Archant London, publisher of the Post, shows that the title costs £250,000 to print and distribute, and £318,350 in annual staffing costs.
The NS says the council claimed to Archant London that The News would create an annual saving of £70,000 as it had replaced three other small council publications and advertising spend with the Post and Recorder which it claimed was £250,000.
A stand where readers can pick up copies of The News has been cemented into the pavement just yards away from the entrance to Dagenham Heathway tube station.
Barry Kirk, editor of the Barking and Dagenham Post, said of the stand: “I understand there will be more to come but not had that confirmed yet, though I have been assured by the press officer that it went through the correct channels of the Highways Department. We are not yet aware if it was published in any notices.”
It was at first estimated that the new council paper would cost the local press £75,000 a year in lost advertising.