Monday 25 July 2011

Sands: 'New weeklies have to be of real quality'

Interesting post by editorial consultant Peter Sands on his Sands Media Services blog about the growing trend of low circulation regional dailies switching to weekly publication.

Peter has been helping with the design, marketing and strategy of Northcliffe's Torquay Herald Express which has just gone from daily to weekly publication.

He is impressed with the new 190 page weekly and states: "The key to any change to weekly is that the new paper has to be substantial and of real quality. Filling a fatter paper with rewritten press releases and overblown what's on entries will just accelerate its decline. Think of the Sunday model, rather than the local shopper."

Peter also says: "The halcyon days when each medium-sized community in the UK might have justified its own daily newspaper, days when advertisers and readers had nowhere else to go, are gone. The change to weekly is really about longevity. It's about turning evening newspapers that are losing sale and revenue at alarming rates into viable long-term businesses before they crash to earth. It is inevitable that in some smaller communities, six-day-a-week publications will become increasingly less viable. "

He adds: "But it's also important to stress that this isn't a one size fits all solution. In some places the daily model still has legs. But I would be surprised if the managements at all daily papers selling under 25,000 aren't seriously considering the weekly option."

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