Birmingham Mail's Saturday paper to print overnight for Sports Argus

Trinity Mirror is to print the Birmingham Mail's Saturday edition overnight to allow the partially-resurrected Sports Argus to be published with it.

In April Trinity Mirror announced the 109-year-old standalone Saturday football paper would be closing on Cup Final day due to advances in digital media, a "huge reduction of sporting fixtures" and because the company was losing nearly £100,000 producing the title.

From August 6 Trinity will incorporate 16 pages during the football season, half the amount of pages of the original 35-page standalone version.

Because the Sports Argus is to be printed on pink paper, the company said it needs to be printed overnight to allow enough time for it to be inserted on the print run.

The company said a contingency plan has been built for late breaking stories.

Editor Steve Dyson said: "We know that the marketplace acts very differently at the weekend, with many families shopping earlier in the day. This is reflected in Saturday continuing to be the lowest newspaper sales day of the week. We want our investment into Saturday's product, coupled with earlier distribution, to help grow this sale."

The Argus sold around 10,000 in 2005 but the sale could vary from between 5,500 and 13,000.

Deputy father of chapel Chris Morley said: "The Sports Argus had a future as a standalone if only the company would have invested in it. This is an investment in the Mail. If it boosts the sale of the Mail then that would be something worth while but we have yet to see whether it will do that. At the end of the day we‘ve lost 10,000 sales on the Saturday night with the loss of the standalone Argus. We will have to see whether it will replicate that with the Mail."

The chapel is to meet with management on Tuesday to talk through the changes which include a late shift.

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