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Reach claims door-to-door newspaper distribution model 'no longer sustainable' as it closes 88-year-old free title

The UK’s largest regional newspaper publisher has said the door-to-door distribution model for free newspapers is “no longer sustainable” ahead of closing weekly the Solihull News next month.

Reach (formerly Trinity Mirror) attributed the struggle to a “continued decline in local print advertising, particularly in the key property platform”.

The News, which has served the West Midlands town since it was founded as Warwickshire News in 1930, will cease publication on 21 December.

The free title has a distribution of 44,786, according to ABC figures to the end of December last year.

Reach Midlands editor-in-chief Marc Reeves said: “Clearly closing the Solihull News isn’t a decision we’ve taken lightly, but with such a strong stable of print and online titles that are already immensely popular across the borough, we know we can continue to serve readers and advertisers with the best local news and exciting new ways to reach customers.”

No jobs are affected by the newspaper’s closure.

Reach said it plans to replace the paper with a new Solihull edition of the Birmingham Mail, printing Monday to Saturday from 2 January.

The new edition will have up to four pages of news, views, features and sport from the borough of Solihull.

“This will be in addition to the Mail’s existing diet of the stories that affect the city and the whole of the West Midlands,” a Reach spokesperson said.

The area will also be covered online at Birmingham Live and In Your Area, Reach’s online platform which gives readers news and community information according to their postcode and areas they are interested in.

According to Reach’s own figures, Birmingham Live and other Reach titles have a Solihull audience of more than 194,000 people each month.

Tomorrow is also the last edition of the Reach-owned Uttoxeter Advertiser, which will be covered online by Derbyshire Live.

There are no job losses as a result of the closure of the Advertiser and there are no other title closures planned within the East Midlands region, the company has told Press Gazette.

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