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Reach blames print ad decline for closure of three 'unsustainable' weeklies in south east

Reach is closing three newspapers in the south east, saying the “continued decline in local print advertising” has made them unsustainable.

The free Harlow Star as well as the paid-for Herts and Essex Observer, and Buckinghamshire Advertiser and Examiner (which ran two editions) will all see publish their last in print next week.

There will be no editorial redundancies as a result of the closures, according to Reach.

A spokesperson said: “Due to a continued decline in local print advertising, unfortunately some print titles have become unsustainable.”

In a message that appeared on both the Harlow Star and Herts and Essex Observer Facebook pages this afternoon, journalists announced “with great sadness” that next week’s edition of each paper would be their last.

“Closing a newspaper is never an easy decision and one that we never take lightly,” the message read.

“We recognise it will be missed by our loyal readers and advertisers and we thank you all wholeheartedly for your support over the years.”

Stories will continue to be covered on the Essex Live website, with journalists telling readers they “look forward to bringing you the latest breaking news and big stories from the area for many years to come”.

Websites for the Herts and Essex Observer and Harlow Star closed in February 2017 with coverage moving to the Essex Live website, which launched the year before.

Essex Live editor Alan Woods said the change was made “in order to allow us to better serve our loyal online audience by channelling our focus on two websites”: Essex Live and the Hertfordshire Mercury.

Reach, then Trinity Mirror, closed the Get Bucks website in July 2017 but continued its Facebook page to complement the Buckinghamshire Advertiser and Examiner in print.

According to the latest ABC figures for January to December 2017, the two editions of the Bucks Advertiser and Examiner has a combined circulation of 3,786. Between July and December 2002 this was at 18,855 (its highest recorded circulation on viewable ABC figures).

In the same period, the Herts and Essex Observer had a circulation of 5,184, down from a peak of 18,869 in the first half of 2002 (also its highest recorded circulation on viewable ABC figures).

The Harlow Star has not been audited by ABC since June 2013 when its circulation was 35,735.

Comments

1 thought on “Reach blames print ad decline for closure of three 'unsustainable' weeklies in south east”

  1. Print ad decline shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone these days, papers filled with social media lifts and old news,selling a fraction of what they used to and reaching far fewer people will never be an attractive proposition for any potential advertiser so announcements of papers closing will become more and more common as we go through the year, I’m just amazed some dreadful weekly papers are still being published, limping along, losing readers,money and credibility issue by issue.
    Always sad to see long standing papers close but inevitable if they’ve lost their markets, are unprofitable, and carry high costs.
    It’s business I’m afraid

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