Archant has announced plans to scrap the Saturday edition of the Ipswich Evening Star and launch a new weekly newspaper with the loss of 14 editorial jobs.
In an announcement released this morning the company said the Evening Star will switch to a Monday to Friday title ‘positioned for its Greater Ipswich and Felixstowe market place’and will be renamed the Ipswich Star, with an edition called the Felixstowe Star.
Archant said this will reflect ‘properly its overnight publishing pattern and its geographic strongholds”.
The company also revealed that on Saturdays an Ipswich edition of the East Anglian Daily Times will be launched ‘to provide an alternative read for regular Star readers”, and that on Thursdays the paid-for Star will be supplemented by a 25,000 circulation free, home-delivered, edition distributed later that day.
It is also launching a new free weekly title, the Stowmarket Mercury, which it said will cater ‘exclusively for one of Suffolk’s fastest-growing market towns”.
The changes will result in a reduction of 14 staff from the 91 strong editorial team, including photographic, production and feature writers.
Newsdesk, sport, commercial and business writers are unaffected. The changes will all take place in the week commencing 23 January.
Archant Anglia MD Johnny Hustler said: ‘Ipswich has found the going tough economically over the past few years.
‘The requirements of our readers and advertisers are changing and we must adapt and innovate if we are to meet their needs in the future.
‘These proposals are designed to rebalance our activities and focus so that we satisfy our customers’ needs and grow our audience in the times ahead.
‘Our strategy is for growth and these proposed changes are designed to help us in that.”
Nigel Pickover, editor of The Star, said: ‘The Star is a powerful and potent title, winning many fights for its readers and advertisers, and we look forward to continuing to serve our communities in Greater Ipswich and Felixstowe.”
Terry Hunt, editor of the EADT, added: ‘Our Saturday edition, already the best-selling of the week, will now be strengthened further and we hope many more readers will be able to enjoy its news, sports and feature platforms.
‘In Stowmarket, our new weekly title, part of our Mercury family, will feature news, sport and events in one of Suffolk’s fastest-growing towns.”
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