Johnston Press closes three weekly newspapers in Yorkshire

Beverley Guardian FRONT

Johnston Press is to close three weekly newspapers in Yorkshire: the Beverley Guardian, Malton and Pickering Mercury and the Driffield Times & Post.

The Beverley Guardian is a free title which had an average circulation of 15,000 when it was last audited by ABC in 2000. The Times & Post had a paid-for circulation of around 5,000 when it was last audited in 2012.

The regional publishing giant has said there will be no job losses as a result of the closures with the final editions of both titles are to be published on 15 September.

In their stead, a new free monthly title covering Driffield, Beverly, Bridlington, Scarborough and Filey will launch on 5 September.

This will “allow advertisers greater exposure across a larger audience”, according to a spokesperson for the company.

The Malton and Pickering Mercury, which had a circulation of just over 2,000 a week when it was last audited by ABC will also close as a stand-alone paper. It will instead become an edition of the Scarborough News, although the Mercury will retain its masthead and “several pages” of local news and sport.

Said the spokesperson: “Earlier this year we announced a review of our portfolio, which looked to ensure our titles are serving their communities effectively and profitably.

“Making sure our newsrooms are properly structured in order to maintain and grow audiences has also been a key priority as we continue to transform the business whilst managing commercial challenges.

“Certain brands within the portfolio have a better opportunity to succeed and we need to invest in and resource these brands accordingly.”

The Driffield Times and Post website
The Driffield Times and Post website

Jeremy Clifford, editor-in-chief, said: “Our approach is to give our titles the best chance of showing consistent growth in audience numbers while taking into account factors such as their size, location and the local economic climate.

“Some titles will be better placed than others to do this and these are the ones we need to focus on.

“Our portfolio will continue to evolve as we make informed decisions about the resources we have available and, most importantly, take steps to improve the company’s overall performance.”

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