Friday 9 July 2010

What makes the Express & Star number one?: Decisions aren't made by 'van drivers in suits'

Editorial consultant Peter Sands has been working at the Wolverhampton Express & Star - the biggest selling regional title in the country.
On his blog he has given the reasons why he believes the Express & Star has stayed at number one.
  • It is family run, locally owned by the Grahams who believe in journalism, sound business practices and realistic targets.
  • It has resisted the trend to turn evening newspapers into mornings (a misguided mantra by van drivers in suits purporting to be circulation managers).
  • If something happens in the morning it will be in the paper, and the readers know that. The morning newspaper market is a crowded place where readers have ten papers to choose from, the evening market is an exclusive zone. Where would you rather be?
  • It still has proper local editions, eight of them, which run from a first deadline of 11am to 2.30pm. The paper changes the front and a substantial number of news and sports pages each issue.
  • It concentrates on good content - loads of it - and not filler material.
  • It has a feisty former news-editor, who doesn't suffer fools or fads, in charge.
Peter adds: "There is a lot more besides. The paper has had it tough, just like everyone else, but there is a robust culture, a self-belief and it feels like a proper newsroom. Perhaps the managers at some other regional groups, should take a closer look."

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