Another Yorkshire merger brings Johnston Press 2015 newspaper closure count to 13

Another two Johnston Press newspapers have been merged in Yorkshire.

The combination of the Dewsbury Reporter and Mirfield Reporter means the publisher has closed at least 13 newspapers in recent months.

Johnston Press announced on 7 October that it had closed eight free newspapers and folded another three into paid-for titles.

But it did not mention the merging of the Todmorden News and Hebden Bridge Times, reported by Press Gazette last week, nor the Dewsbury and Mirfield titles.

A Johnston Press spokesperson said: "Our priority is to ensure we are serving our audiences in a trusted and authentic way – be it online or in print. As the media landscape continues to change we will adapt our portfolio to ensure we can deliver the best news and information to our communities."

Press Gazette research shows Johnston Press has now closed at least 24 newspapers since 2012.

According to community Facebook page My Mirfield, the announcement of the merger said: “In recent years these have operated as individual newspapers with several common pages. Now we are combining the two titles into one strong local paper for the two towns. We will continue to bring you full coverage of local news, entertainment and sport from both towns and their surrounding villages. All your regular features and columns will continue to appear in the combined paper.

“This move will protect the tradition of valued local newspaper coverage, whilst recognising and reporting on the distinct lives and events in both Mirfield and Dewsbury. Advertising has appeared in both titles for some time and this will remain mainly unaffected by the change. The combined paper will keep the titles of both towns in its masthead and in keeping with the growing demand of news online, the websites will deliver up to date information seven days a week provided by our team of journalists.

“We look forward to your continued support and urge readers across the district to continue to use the paper to publicise their news and events to the people of Dewsbury and Mirfield."

When last audited by ABC, in 2013, the Dewsbury Reporter series – which included the Mirfield Reporter – recorded a weekly paid-for circulation of 7,186. This was down from more than 14,000 in 2003.

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