Johnston Press South to close Sports Mail and Resident titles

Johnston Press South is closing a 109-year-old sports title in Portsmouth.

The last edition of the Sports Mail was published at the weekend ahead of a planned relaunch of daily paid-for Portsmouth title The News, which will include a new eight-page sport pull-out on Wednesdays.

In a letter sent to staff managing director Karl Dimmock explained the reasons for the closure of the Sports Mail, which had a circulation of around 3,000:  “Unfortunately, as we, and many other media providers, have improved their routes to readers – with the launch of websites, Apps, Video etc – the sale of the paper had been dwindling and it had reached a point where it was making a loss, one of the reasons we have decided to close the title mid season.

“However the second, and more important, reason for the timing of this decision is much more positive. Next week we relaunch the News, and we launch The News app.

“In paper it is our intention to increase pagination to provide additional sports content early in the week.”

He added: “This is content that we are fantastic at sourcing and supplying to readers – no one can match us for this.”

Of The Resident’s closure, Dimmock said: “We have tried a number of initiatives to prop up this free title, but unfortunately the return does not justify the effort that goes into it, especially when the paid for Observer series is so strong.

“The advertising teams have a plan to migrate the majority of the revenue into the Observer which will boost this title even further.”

 The Resident will cease to be published from 10 October.

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