Northcliffe ditches another newspaper as 'unprofitable' Taunton Times closes

Northcliffe Newspapers has closed the free weekly Taunton Times in Somerset after eight years of publication.

The company said publishing the 29,000-circulation paper had become too unprofitable.

The news comes a week after Northcliffe sold the Times's sister title, the Wellington Weekly News, one of the country's oldest titles, to Tindle Newspapers. Six journalists at the Times are still in consultation over their futures.

Times editor Tim Dixon told Press Gazette: "The Times is held in high regard, and it is with regret that it is closing. It's a free paper with good editorial content and a genuinely strong community feel. Staff feel there is a lot to shout about and to be proud of. The paper is well liked in the town, and it's a newspaper that has a heart and a genuine editorial dimension to it. "Our final issue will look back at some of the paper's triumphs over its eight-year history."

Dixon will continue to edit the Western Gazette, which has six Somerset editions and five Dorset editions. For its final edition on Thursday this week, the paper carried a front-page announcement saying: "It is with the greatest regret that we announce the closure of the Taunton Times. This publishing activity in Taunton has sadly continued to prove to be unprofitable and the decision has reluctantly been made to discontinue this title.

"There has been great commitment from managers and staff of the title over the years and from the self-employed delivery agents and their distributors who have supported this huge delivery operation so efficiently. We have enjoyed the support of freelance journalists, photographers and contributions from the public. We take this opportunity to thank them all for their dedicated support."

In a statement to regional bosses, Northcliffe managing director Michael Pelosi said it was with regret that the paper was operating at a loss with no prospects of moving into profit.

He said: "The decision to close a title is never an easy one because of the impact it has on our employees and a local community.

"I take this opportunity to thank all members of staff for their dedication to the Taunton Times over the past eight years and to wish them success in their future careers."

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