St Helens Reporter goes digital-only, one of 18 newspapers axed by Johnston Press this month

Johnston Press has closed another weekly newspaper bring the total axed by the publisher in recent weeks to 18.

Free weekly the St Helens Reporter, in Merseyside is to become a digital-only title. According to Jicreg it had a print circulation in the town of 75,000 competing with Newsquest-owned title the St Helens Star (circulation 97,000).

The closure of the print edition is part of an ongoing cost-cutting review at Johnston.

The publisher announced the closure of 11 newspapers at the beginning of October. But since then a further seven titles have gone, with no announcement made by the company.

Press Gazette learned yesterday that the East Lothian News and Musselburgh News in Scotland have been slated for closure.

In recent weeks it has also merged the Todmorden News with the Hebden Bridge Times and the Dewsbury Reporter with the Mirfield Reporter.

Johnston is also closing the Sunday Journal in Derry, Northern Ireland, and merging the Ballymena Times and Antrim Times.

Johnston Press has now closed at least 25 newspapers since 2012. Across the UK regional press, more than 300 local newspapers have closed over the last decade – with around 100 launched.

Press Gazette has repeatedly asked Johnston Press head office to reveal how many newspapers it is planning to close in the current round of cutbacks.

If you know of a newspaper which is closing near you, please let Press Gazette know by emailing: pged@pressgazette.co.uk

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