Monday, 23 March 2009

Now Chronicle Downgrades News

In the latest development to hit local newsstands Reading Chronicle has announced it is to reduce its format and become a weekly tabloid.

The news follows hot on the heels of the decision by Reading Evening Post to start publishing on a bi-weekly basis, down from 5-times per week.

The Berkshire Media Group-owned Chronicle claimed a weekly circulation of 9,392 in the second-half of 2008.

The Press Gazette reports that the local paper decided to take the momentous decision in response to an 'overwhelming demand' from readers, who apparently said that this more modern format better suited their needs.

2 comments:

  1. Not surprised at this decision as many Newspapers publishers look to find further ways of reducing their costs. Over the next year quite few local papers will disappear as online delivery of new gathers pace and tries to offer alternate.

    Here's some comments from Roy Greenslade (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2009/mar/12/local-newspapers-johnston-press) with references to Kelvin MacKenzie (ex-Sun editor) comments. I think we have not see the last of the closures.

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  2. I agree - papers like the Seattle P-I and Rocky Mountain News are hardly small-fry.

    There will always be a future for print, but it's up to management to produce a workable business plan which is profitable.

    The problem with reducing costs in this way in this industry is that it also reduces potential income, so it is a fine calculation which needs to be made.

    So really how popular the product is depends on understanding the audience better - do we want political propaganda, celebrity gossip, overwhelming numbers of adverts and general tat which is available elsewhere, or do we want something more focussed, relevant and meaningful to our own lives?

    I fell in love with Greenslade as a media analyst several years ago when he did a big expose on the state of Iranian news - it's not a free press, and it's not economically viable as a result.

    There are a number of publications (such as The Economist) which continue to grow despite the troubles, so they clearly know something GMG and BM doesn't!

    The bottom line has changed since we entered the downturn and what we are seeing is bad management being weeded out as the industry consolidates - still, I wouldn't be surprised if there are a number of new publications as growth returns and the industry starts expanding - maybe RL will be one!

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