Northcliffe Media weekly title the Croydon Advertiser is to adopt a hybrid part free, part paid-for distribution model from this week.
Publishers will distribute around 70,000 copies of the new-look paper to homes in and around Croydon and Sutton and also make the paper available to buy at newsagents in the area.
The distribution shift comes against a backdrop of falling sales at the paper. During the first-half of the year the 60p title sold an average of 15,599 copies each week, a year-on-year drop of 9.7 per cent.
The new-look paper will increase the number of pages it publishes and also include a new 12-page sport supplement.
Andy Worden, editor, said: “We pride ourselves on producing one of the best weekly newspapers in the country. The re-launch allows us to attract and deliver news to new audiences with in-depth coverage of smaller communities within Croydon.”
Croydon, London’s biggest borough, is already served by the Metro each weekday morning and the Evening Standard from lunchtime.
In addition, Newsquest publishes a free local title, the Croydon Guardian, and Northcliffe has its own free paper, the Croydon Post, which was rebranded as the Advertiser Midweek earlier in the year in preparation for changes to its sister paper.
The Advertiser Midweek is free from pick-up bins supported by distribution to over 15,000 homes in selected areas.
Press Gazette understands the changes to the Advertiser are being introduced to help the title combat falling sales and fight back against increased competition from free papers.
The Croydon Advertiser and Croydon Post were both acquired by Northcliffe Media from Trinity Mirror in July 2007.