Trinity Mirror plans for newspaper war in Birmingham

Trinity Mirror has closed Living, its glossy lifestyle magazine for Birmingham, to instead concentrate on fighting off competition from a new weekly paper expected to launch in the city next week.

BPM Media, the Trinity Mirror company which publishes the Birmingham Mail and the weekly Post newspapers, will use Living’s staff and other resources to combat the Birmingham Press, which is being launched by newspaper entrepreneur Chris Bullivant.

John Griffith, managing director of BPM Media, told TheBusinessdesk.com that the closure would allow the company to ‘redeploy resources to protect our position in the Birmingham market”.

He said: ‘We want to be ready to make the right tactical response and we’re certainly not dismissing Chris Bullivant’s new venture. He’s a very experienced newspaper man who has been doing this for more than 30 years.”

Griffith would not disclose what BPM’s response would entail. It could mean giving over extra editorial resource to its weekly free newspaper, the Mail Extra. It could mean a new title.

Bullivant revealed last month that he and former Trinity Mirror weeklies boss, Tony Lennox, were about to launch an upmarket weekly in Birmingham to exploit a gap left in the market by the Post going weekly and focusing on business news.

The Press will operate a part-free, part paid-for model with a total distribution of around 25,000 copies.

Former Birmingham Post editor Marc Reeves, writing in his capacity as the editor of the recently launched TheBusinessdesk.com, said a ‘council of war’was held over the weekend at Trinity Mirror’s headquarters in Canary Wharf to discuss what kind of response the company would make to Bullivant’s move.

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