Surrey series goes tabloid

The Surrey Mirror and Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser series has this week ditched its broadsheet format in favour of tabloid, bringing the number of UK newspapers that have made the switch in the last year to seven.

The papers hit newsstands in their smaller format on Thursday, seven months after the papers were bought by Northcliffe Media from Trinity Mirror as part of a £64 million purchase of 25 titles.

Editor-in-chief Ian Carter said the decision was taken to give readers a better product and not to increase circulation, which has been relatively healthy.

The Mirror sold an average of 12,150 copies in the first half of 2007 according to ABC figures, a drop of six per cent year-on-year, and the Advertiser sold 11,382, a decline of 0.5 per cent year-on-year.

Carter was in charge of taking the Croydon Advertiser, the paper he also edits, from broadsheet to tabloid in March 2006. He said: ‘We’re all trying to go full- steam ahead with new media at the moment and when you see a broadsheet, it looks like something out of the 18th century.”

The last local newspaper to go tabloid was the Richmond and Twickenham Times series in west London.

In April, the Halifax Evening Courier, the last evening broadsheet in England, made the change to tabloid. Also in the last 12 months, Johnston Press‘s Wakefield Express made the switch in February following a reader survey, and the Darlington-based Northern Echo also took the smaller option the same month.

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