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Evening newspaper switches to overnight printing

Another evening newspaper is following the recent trend to switch to overnight printing and become a morning title.

The Evening Leader, which covers Wrexham, Flintshire and Chester, will become ‘the Leader’ from 14 September.

No redundancies or major staff changes will happen as a result of the plans which follow an experiment in January this year, whereby the Evening Leader’s Friday edition was printed overnight, resulting in a sales increase, according to the NWN Media title.

First launched in 1973, the Evening Leader will also undergo a makeover and have individual sections tailored to give each day a different theme.

There will be a new sports supplement every Monday and a celebrity news section with content “developed radically with the aim of attracting a new audience to add to the existing loyal readership”, said the paper in a statement.

This latest development follows the recent relaunch of all the websites run by titles in the NWN Media stable.

Editor-in-chief Barrie Jones said: “Of course we will still be packing the paper with as much local news as possible.

“But I believe that our experiment on a Friday clearly shows that the extended shelf life of a carefully packaged morning title exceeds the sales potential of a traditional evening paper no matter how up to date that is made to be.

“We will be combining moving to a morning publication with a vigorous overhaul of content to develop a separate character to each day’s edition, building to a varied five day platform with credible sales appeal.”

The Evening Leader is the latest evening paper among regional dailies to switch to overnight printing in recent years.

Northcliffe’s Derby-based Evening Telegraph became the Derby Telegraph in April as part of wider changes involving centralised subbing and the scrapping of ‘City Final’ editions.

And titles such as the Plymouth Evening Herald, Portsmouth Evening News and Southend Evening Echo are just three of several which have dropped the word ‘Evening’ from their mastheads as part of the switch to overnight publication.

  • A mock-up front page of the new ‘Leader’
  • Comments

    ellie hunt (01/09/2009 09:55:34)
    Every other paper who has tried this (always to save money not improve service or quality) can be summed up in two words.
    Stale news.

    Joe Bloggs (01/09/2009 12:08:50)
    The Peterborough Evening Telegraph went overnight several months ago but has kept the “evening” part of its title, which is utterly misleading.

    ANON (02/09/2009 11:03:18)
    Young reporters don’t know what they missing in experience from tackling up to three deadlines a day on a proper evening.
    It was once the next best thing to working for the nats.
    Watch the circulation fall even faster on these next-day papers.
    It has dived on other titles- almost as fast as staff levels in fact.
    Is anyone doing anything positive in the industry or just spouting managment-speak?

    Metman (02/09/2009 11:55:06)
    In a world where papers are competiting against the immediacy of the internet it seems a little defeatist to start publishing even older news. No wonder people are giving up buying their local paper.
    Having said that, working on an eveing where the change pages are only moved around because of the editor’s vanity is something else. How often has a sub had to move a story from the inside pages, only because there’s another edition?

    Insider (03/09/2009 11:07:59)
    Perhaps this move has more to do with NWN Media’s £15million investment in new press facilities than the interests of Evening Leader buyers and readers.
    Prime time spots on the new press are being sold off to other clients at the expense of the company’s own titles.
    The owners have lost sight of their role in the community in the chase for the extra pound in the pocket.
    The Leader or Evening Leader, like other titles is in freefall and this will simply increase the speed.