Stoke Sentinel makes switch to overnight printing

Northcliffe is to turn The Sentinel in Stoke and three other evening titles into morning papers.

Currently, the Leicester Mercury, Nottingham Evening Post, and Derby Evening Telegraph – all printed in Leicester – and The Sentinel, printed in Stoke, have mid-morning deadlines, with final editions each afternoon.

But, following last week’s announcement that Northcliffe plans to close its Leicester press, with 66 jobs lost, arrangements are changing.

At least one of the East Midlands titles will now be printed in Stoke, with the other two in Derby.

That means The Sentinel, and the new arrival, must print overnight. Press Gazette understands that the move is likely to mean each paper having just one edition.

Pressures on the presses are compounded by the Daily Mail, the flagship title of Northcliffe’s parent company DMGT, already being printed in Derby and Stoke.

New deadlines for the titles have not been confirmed, but will be late enough to accommodate midweek football matches.

If the Leicester press does close – the consultation will finish next month – printing will move immediately.

Sentinel editor-in-chief Mike Sassi told Press Gazette: “There is no reason why The Sentinel can’t be every bit as compelling a morning paper as it has been an evening.

“Everyone is well aware of the challenges facing local newspapers. If printing overnight makes us a stronger business in the future, that’s what we’ll have to do.”

Northcliffe closed its Grimsby press last year. The Hull Daily Mail, Grimsby Telegraph, Scunthorpe Telegraph, and Lincolnshire Echo – currently printed overnight at Derby and Leicester – will now be printed at Derby and Stoke.

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