Trinity Mirror has reduced the bi-weekly Exeter Express & Echo to a weekly title to make way for the arrival of a new edition of daily Western Morning News, also owned by the publisher, covering the city.
The move follows the launch of its Devon-wide website Devonlive.com last month, which is based in Exeter, said to be a result of “huge investment and a rising population” in the city.
The last Monday Echo, which now will only publish on Thursday in a new “bumper” format, went to print last week as the first Exeter edition of the Western Morning News came out on Monday.
Bill Martin, editor of the Western Morning News and Trinity Mirror group editor for Devon & Cornwall, said the group wanted to “complement” its existing digital offer in Exeter with a print product.
“With huge investment and a rising population, Exeter is generating a huge amount of news these days, it has a burgeoning business community and is becoming regionally more important” he said.
“We think the city is worthy of its own edition of the Western Morning News, combined with our new website and a bumper edition of the Express & Echo.”
Express & Echo editor Jim Parker added: “We’ve been putting a lot of thought and effort into producing a bigger and better weekly edition of the Express & Echo which will include the latest news, features and sport in addition to motors and property.
“I’m sure ‘Super Thursday’ will prove a hit with readers and develop over time to suit the expanding and exciting city that Exeter has become.”
A Trinity Mirror spokesperson said there were no planned redundancies on the Express & Echo and no new hires on the Western Morning News, which will publish Monday to Friday in Exeter.
Former Local World title the Express & Echo launched a second weekly edition in February 2015. It changed from a daily to a weekly title in August 2011 while under the ownership of Northcliffe Media.
The Express & Echo’s Monday edition had a total weekly circulation of 5,501 copies on average, according to ABC figures. Its Thursday edition sells 12,268 copies.
The Western Morning News has an average daily circulation of 19,842 copies across Devon and Cornwall, ABC figures show.