Ham&High moves to Thursday sale

The Hampstead & Highgate Express has changed its Friday publication date to Thursday to help boost falling sales in an "overloaded weekend market".

Factors contributing to the decision include the lack of visibility the paper has on newsstands among the bulky national weekend papers, and also to bring publication times more in line with competitors.

The Archant London paper, which has experienced sales decline since 2002 in line with most regional newspapers, will now publish on the same day as the free Camden New Journal.

Editor Geoff Martin said: "We always try to keep each other on our toes. To have a free paper coming out a day ahead of you is never a good idea for a paid-for and now we've set that right, so that's one of the big advantages.

"Another thing we are all aware of now is how difficult it is for weekly papers to get space on the news at the weekends, because Saturday papers are effectively weekend papers now.

"There's limited space on newsstands and we used to have complaints from people who couldn't find the paper, simply because it had been buried. So that extra day of high visibility is fantastic for us."

Archant London regional managing director Enzo Testa has been studying circulation trends in the capital, which is notoriously difficult in terms of sale.

He found a large number of the Ham&High's core readers were active retired or semi-retired people who ‘headed for the hills' before the paper was on the stands.

Testa said: "This change of publication day reflects our readers' demand to get their local news earlier. We feel sure that this change will increase circulation, as readers will be able to purchase their copy of the Ham&High before they head for the hills on Thursday evenings or Friday mornings.''

The paper will continue to print at lunch time.

Publication of the mainly free Wood&Vale and Marylebone editions, covering St John's Wood, Maida Vale and Marylebone, will continue on Friday.

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