Birmingham Post editor: Going weekly is the best option

Marc Reeves, editor of the Birmingham Post, has signalled his desire for his paper to become a weekly, ahead of the completion of a consultation into its future.

Trinity Mirror, publisher of the Post, said yesterday that it had entered a consultation over the future of the paper which would consider an option to turn the title from a morning daily into a weekly.

Writing on his blog last night, Reeves said there were two realistic options for the Post: keeping it as a daily, reducing daily pagination to 40-48 pages from current levels in excess of 60, or turning it into a bumper weekly paper, possibly published on a Thursday.

Reeves wrote: “I believe the weekly model is the best option for the Post…Increasingly, our diet of daily and immediate news is fed by online services and broadcast media, and newspapers have a much reduced role in bringing news we didn’t hear first somewhere else. Papers are increasingly more about providing analysis, comment and insight.

“I believe that should be the role of the Post in print – to explain and examine the big decisions and issues in the region, while keeping readers up to date with the immediate through our website and other online services.

“A substantial, value-for-money weekly package is surely the best home for this, where the very best elements of the Post’s coverage can be found all in one place.”

Reeves said that while it would retain more editorial jobs, the option to keep the paper as a daily would result in weakened brand offering readers less value for money.

He added that total closure of the paper had been rejected early on along with other ‘zany’plans which included a merger with the Birmingham Mail and going bi-weekly.

Despite his desire to see the print edition of his paper turn into a weekly, Reeves said he “genuinely wanted to hear as many views on this as possible” during the consultation as the local population had a “fierce sense of ownership” over the paper.

He added: “This consultation process is unique in my experience in that as well as seeking the views of staff – who are of course the people most directly affected by any changes – we also want the views of readers and advertisers…I think it’s absolutely the right thing to do to give the whole region a say in what could be the most important decision for the Post in its 151-year history.”

Publisher Trinity Mirror said yesterday that up to 85 jobs could go as a result of the review into its Midlands business which is aimed at plugging expected losses of £6m next year.

In addition to mulling a switch of the Birmingham Post to a weekly, Trinity Mirror said it was also considering turning its evening title, the Birmingham Mail, into a morning paper.

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