Shropshire Star cuts editions from five to two

The Shropshire Star is merging Shrewsbury, South and Border into a single county edition, in a move expected to result in one compulsory reduncancy.

It means the daily title will now publish two editions instead of five, with the enlarged county edition going to print at 9.30am and the last edition, serving Shropshire’s largest town Telford, going to press at 3pm (one of the latest evening paper deadlines in the UK).

A consultation period over several other editorial redundancies runs until the end of June, and the edition change is expected to result in one compulsory redundancy from the paper’s 85 editorial staff.

Editor Keith Harrison said: ‘Seen in the wider context of the regional press, these changes reflect a long-term commitment to same-day publishing, on which the MNA has built its success.

‘Recent technical issues at the Ketley print centre have meant we have been producing two editions per day, instead of our normal five, for the past month or so.

‘This period has served as a natural trial for the change, without us seeing a related drop in sales.

‘Pagination will increase to provide a greater spread of local news and our Last edition deadline will still be the latest in the country.”

Publisher Midlands News Association added that as part of the edition change ‘the distribution network will be reviewed, which may lead to further efficiencies being made”.

Press Gazette understands the NUJ Shropshire Star chapel could consider taking industrial action over the compulsory redundancy.

The most recent ABC figures for the paper show circulation was down 11.8 per cent in the last six months of 2011 to 51,240.

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