Johnston's Northumberland Gazette in tabloid switch

The Northumberland Gazette will make the switch from broadsheet to tabloid next week.

It comes after Press Gazette last week reported that Johnston Press stable mates the West Sussex County Times and Bucks Herald were also making the switch.

The last broadsheet edition of the Gazette, which was nominated for newspaper of the year at last year’s Regional Press Awards, was published yesterday.

The paper, which has an average weekly circulation of 8,867, said the move ‘has not been taken lightly’but that it received an ‘overwhelming response in favour of becoming a compact”.

‘We started to pose the question about whether to convert to compact in 2008, when we discovered there was a real appetite for a more modern look to the paper,’said Gazette editor Paul Larkin.

‘I am excited about the changes, not just in the size of the Gazette but its overall design and content, linking with new ways of communicating our news.

‘The world of communication is moving so quickly and it is important for our readers and the future of the Gazette that we keep ahead of the game.”

The Gazette’s website will also receive a ‘light-touch relaunch’with improvements to the home page and improved social networking and commenting functionality.

The final broadsheet editions of The Bucks Herald and West Sussex County Times were also published this week.

Johnston has said it is relaunching 170 of its paid-for titles – excluding only The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, The Yorkshire Post and The News Letter – after it was announced that five of its daily papers were switching to weeklies: The Scarborough Evening News, Halifax Courier, Northampton Chronicle and Echo, Peterborough Evening Telegraph and Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph.

The company plans to create five different design templates to be rolled out across its portfolio of daily and weekly newspapers. International design firm Cases I Associats has been awarded the contract to create the new designs.

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