Trinity Mirror trio set for spring renaissance

Wolstenholme: English Post editor

March will be a month of renaissance for three major regional newspapers. In Wales, both the Cardiff-based Western Mail and the Welsh Daily Post will be revamped and the English Daily Post will begin changes that will continue over the next two years.

All the newspapers are owned by Trinity Mirror. Two of the three, the Western Mail and the English Daily Post, have new editors in Alan Edmunds and Jane Wolstenholme. Alistair Machray, former editor of the one-nation Daily Post, has moved from Liverpool to Llandudno Junction as editor-in-chief, North Wales, to create a separate Post for Wales.

Wolstenholme was made editor of the English Daily Post at the end of last year and is already well into revamping the Post’s design, with new design editor Gary Bainbridge.

Her plans for future changes depend on current research providing her with a viable business plan to place before Trinity Mirror’s regional board.

Already a pool of some 310,000 potential ABC1 readers has been discovered at which she will aim an upmarket English Post.

She is increasing business coverage through the main paper and in the 12-page Business Week supplement, which will get four extra pages. It will include a new small and medium-size businesses section, lots of interviews and columns, commercial property pages and, on the back page, The Business Lunch, an informal interview over lunch with one of business editor Bill Gleeson’s team.

Recognising that her title has a big readership but a small circulation of around 20,000 – readers pick up a copy at work – she and a project team are exploring different ways of getting the newspaper to them, including partly by subscription.

“People are so busy, particularly our target market, that going into the newsagent first thing in the morning is not part of all our lives as much as it was,” she explained. “We want to do things very differently, radically if need be.”

So March will see the English Post with a bolder, cleaner masthead and what Wolstensholme described as the “old-fashioned” design of the pages refreshed to give classic treatment to page leads.

She will introduce a comment and analysis double-page spread, bolstering the Post’s reputation as a hard-hitting newspaper with intelligent writing.

The arts section has been redesigned and TV listings will move from the centre of the newspaper to give the centre-spread editorial better impact.

Day Six, the Saturday supplement, has had a big revamp, while the restaurant review page moves to Fridays to allow readers to plan outings for the weekend.

By Jean Morgan

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