The Scunthorpe Telegraph is to move from a daily to weekly title – the second Northcliffe Media newspaper to make the switch in the space of a month.
The final daily edition of the paper will appear on 12 August and the first weekly edition comes out a week after.
The news emerged on the day of the last daily edition of the Northcliffe-owned Herald Express in Torquay. The first weekly edition of that paper is due out next week.
Northcliffe claimed the decision was ‘part of a strategy to secure the long-term sustainability’of the Telegraph but did not say how many journalists would lose their jobs as a result of the switch.
When Northcliffe’s Torquay Herald Express announced its switch to a weekly last month half of its editorial team, 16 full-time equivalent staff, were made redundant.
According to its latest ABC figures, the Scunthorpe Daily Telegraph had an average daily circulation of 16,084 in the last six month of 2010 – down 7.2 per year on year, and down 13 per cent on 2008.
In a statement released by Northcliffe this morning, Scunthorpe Telegraph editor Mel Cook said: ‘The move to a weekly publication is a reflection of the changes in our readers’ lives.
‘People do not have time to read the newspaper every day. However, they still want to know what’s happening in their area.
‘They still want to know about the issues that affect their lives. And they still want the Telegraph to campaign on their behalf.”
Managing director for the Grimsby Scunthorpe Media Group, Mark Price, said the move was a ‘major step forward for advertisers in North Lincolnshire”.
‘Our advertisers will experience an immediate benefit as we anticipate a single issue of the weekly to reach a much wider market than any single edition of the current daily publication’he said.
Meanwhile, the 16 remaining staff at the Torquay Herald Express were today gearing up to produce their first weekly edition.
It comes out next Thursday, priced £1, and will be produced by 16 full-time equivalent editorial staff.
The front page of today’s Herald reads: “This will be our last edition as a daily newspaper and the hard work and passion that has made the Herald Express such a resounding success over the many decades should not be forgotten.
“But the end of an era heralds the dawn of a new beginning and now the aim is to make our new weekly publication even more successful and secure for the years to come.
“Our ethos is the same. We want to be – and we will be – at the very heart of the South Devon community.
“It will be very much business as usual as we deliver readers all the news, views, sport, comment and photographs from across the area as well as jobs, property, cars and classified advertising for our customers.”
Herald Express editor Andy Phelan said: ‘In many ways, today is a very sad day. We have had to say goodbye and good luck to some of our friends and colleagues, the people who have made the Herald Express so special to so many people over such a long time.
‘But we still have a fantastic team of people who are ready to go forward with the new weekly newspaper.
‘Our challenge now is to put together a newspaper which is fit for our tremendously loyal readers and advertisers, and that’s a challenge my team and I relish.
‘We are all looking forward to seeing our first edition on the news stands next Thursday, and hearing what you think about it.”