Bath Chronicle editor Sam Holliday has branded those who believe readers are willing to wait 24 hours between editions "arrogant and complacent" as he announced the paper was switching to overnight production.
The Chronicle, which is following a trend throughout the evening sector, will now be available in shops at 5am in the morning. Many editors and journalists have condemned the trend because it means a lack of late-breaking, on-the-day news in daily newspapers.
Holliday said: "It is arrogant and complacent to believe that our readers will wait 24 hours between our editions for updates of news that is important to them. "We should use the web to fill that gap — and make sure our readers know we are doing so."
Holliday said he was encouraged by the South Wales Evening Post which had shown circulation growth since coming out in the morning.
"I have been following the debate about overnight production very carefully. For us, it was a rather more simple decision than for many other titles as our previous deadline was at 8.20am and it was very rare that we changed anything in the early hours of the morning to what we'd agreed the night before.
"If you take the web seriously — as we do — then going to overnight production can actually be seen as a way of making your website more relevant by allowing it to break news during the day to attract more hits, while still keeping the newspaper at the heart of your operation."
The Chronicle is making other changes throughout the newspaper including a relaunch of its weekly leisure supplement, The Guide, which is trying to establish closer ties with the website.