Johnston scraps weekly paper the Portsmouth Journal

Johnston Press is planning to scrap its free weekly paper the Portsmouth Journal.

The news comes just weeks after Johnston closed 109-year-old sports title the Sports Mail ahead of a planned relaunch of daily sister title The News.

In a memo to staff the managing director of Johnston Press South, Karl Dimmock, said: “It has been decided to mothball the Portsmouth Journal with the last edition being published w/c 29th October.

“The difficult economic climate has seen advertising and leaflet revenues decline while at the same time we have been working hard to strengthen the position of The News as the No.1 brand for news and information in SE Hampshire.”

Dimmock added: “Early feedback is that the recent changes to The News are being well received, despite the initial concerns about closing the Sports Mail and dual pricing on Saturdays.

“The first sales figures are now in and the sales trends have shown improvements, which is fantastic news and a credit to all of your efforts too [sic] ensure the raft of changes went through as smoothly as possible, without the product changes jarring with the readers.

“It is vital to keep the momentum going, ultra local news, sport and information is our niche and expanding upon this is the key to success going forward.”

Dimmock said that “with the excellent ‘new’ Weekender magazine it is felt that we have strong platforms to migrate the majority of the Journals revenues across into The News”.

The Journal had an average weekly circulation of 98,506 according to the latest ABC figures.

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