Burton Mail trials morning publishing

The Burton Mail has begun a monthlong trial of morning publishing every day. It follows a month's experiment of morning publication on a Thursday, which resulted in a "significant" sales rise on the day.

The paper's 12pm deadline has now moved to 6.30am on the day of publication, except on Monday, when the deadline will be slightly later to include weekend sport.

Editor Paul Hazeldine claims the move to morning publication on Thursdays had increased sales by around 2 per cent to 16,500.

He said: "We have had a significant increase in sales, basically due to a longer shelf life.

"A lot of our papers were printed at lunchtime and weren't getting out to the newsagents until 4pm, and so only had an hour and a half shelf life. Now they have the complete day."

It is understood that staff have approached the NUJ over work patterns, claiming they were not properly consulted by management about the changes and that there are not sufficient staffing levels at present.

There are now two possible shifts rather than one that journalists are expected to work; either 8am to 4pm or 10am to 6pm. The number of hours are the same, but could now fall earlier or later.

Hazeldine said: "I've kept my staff fully informed throughout about what the changes are going to be, and the working hours have not changed to any major significance.

"They have changed a couple of hours either way. We've got a lot of staff on holiday and a lot on training courses at the moment, which has put us under pressure, but once we're back up to speed then everything will be fine.

"If there's a problem, it's something they should come to me about. Until they do, I can't address the complaint."

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