22 October 2014

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Jobs go as Bristol daily drops Saturday edition

Regional newspaper publisher Northcliffe Media has announced that the Bristol Evening Post is to become a five day a week publication with the loss of up to 20 jobs.

An announcement today by Bristol News and Media said the title the Evening Post is to become The Post from 19 April to reflect its transition to morning publication in June 2009.

Next month the title will become a five day operation, ceasing publication on Saturdays.  At the same time an extended Friday edition with a comprehensive weekend guide for Bristol will be launched.

Sister title the Western Daily Press will continue to be published six days a week and will still be available on Saturdays.

Bristol News and Media publisher Alan Renwick said: “We have undertaken an exhaustive review of our portfolio and the changing needs of readers and advertisers in our market.

“These planned changes give us a more focused and flexible set of publications which are much more closely aligned to our customers and give us a better platform for future growth.”

Other changes taking place as part of a portfolio review by the company will see entertainments magazine Venue become a digital-only product, with its listings and review content also powering the Friday Post as well as the Bristol Observer and the local edition of Metro.

This will mean the magazine’s publishing director Dave Higgitt will leave the company next month.

Folio magazine, currently jointly produced with Venue, will remain as a stand-alone monthly with the May edition of Venue being the last.

Paul Breeden, chair of the Bristol branch of the National Union of Journalists, said the news had come as a “great shock”.

“It’s bad news for all the journalists there who will be worried about their jobs.  It’s not the end but it indicates it’s a time of big change. A lot of people do love the Post and a lot less people are buying it,” he said.

18 Comments

  1. Ex-Noooorthcliffe, Bristol

    Devastating to hear my home town is losing its Saturday edition. How can a city the size of Bristol not retain its own weekend paper? An excuse to axe editorial jobs and cuts costs.

    I’m off to PR…

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  2. James Cowling, London

    Sorry to hear the axe is falling YET AGAIN on my old newspaper.
    But, as one who took redundancy two years ago, there is life after Northcliffe. Best wishes to all at the Post, JC.

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  3. John Bull

    Another nonsensical decision from the newspaper magnates desperate to finally kill off the regional industry altogether. Doesnt’ make any business sense – cutting costs is not the way to profit except on a short-term basis. This is what the idiots at the top have been doing for the best part of three decades and still don’t seem to realise there is another way. I’m sorry for the people affected.

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  4. Spanner

    “These planned changes give us a more focused and flexible set of publications which are much more closely aligned to our customers and give us a better platform for future growth.”

    Makes absolute business sense, Saturday and Tuesday for that matter have been marginal for years. Difference is that now Northcliffe have contracted printing out to JP and Trinity they can save a proportion of the print overhead as well.

    Just please don’t dress it up as a future growth opportunity, it is merely the efficient management of decline. The next phase will be Mon, Wed, Fri publication.

    Report this comment

  5. Traffic Chaos

    Interesting deviation from the circulation-slashing move to increase prices and roll out magazines and supplements for the weekend as in Leicester and Stoke.

    Not good.

    Report this comment

  6. Ill-informed

    For some regional dailies, Saturday is the best performing day of the week. For many others, Saturday is a loss-maker. I suspect the decision in Bristol is driven by simple economics – there’s just not enough interest from readers or advertisers to make Saturday’s newspaper profitable.

    “How can a city the size of Bristol not retain its own weekend paper?” asks Ex-Nooooorthcliffe, Bristol. The answer is surely because not enough people in Bristol want it.

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  7. N Yeeles, Bristol

    Particularly sad to see the death knoll for Bristol’s listings magazine Venue which has long offered an alternative view of the city and what’s on.

    It’s hard to be ‘local’ online – I wish them well with the move and can only trust that if the journos maintain the lively, quirky tone then readers will still seek out the site for reviews and commentary on the city.

    Good copy will out? We’ll see.

    Report this comment

  8. Spanner

    Traffic Chaos

    Leicester has always different as the property advertising market is on Saturday.

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  9. Ex-Noooorthcliffe, Bristol

    Ill-informed suggests the reason the Saturday paper is being axed is because not people want to buy it. This might be the case, but surely part of the reason is because of the quality of the product.

    Yes, Saturday might always have been a tough day to sell papers in Bristol, but how about some investment in journalism to drive the sale up rather than abandoning ship and chopping another 20 jobs which will in turn diminish the quality of the Monday-Friday publications?

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  10. ends

    Look at what’s on offer on the Saturday news stands. The national editions are huge, big on sport, lifestyle and magazines. National Sundays are already hurting because of the expansion into the “weekend” market by their sister titles.

    Good on ‘em for trying but local papers simply can’t compete against that market and let’s face it there’s a limited readership for local arts and leisure which tend to dominate the coverage. Sad to see but agree with posters who say it’s basic economics. If the readers aint buying…….

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  11. Ill-informed

    Hmmm – I posted a reply to Ex-Noooorthcliffe but it seems to have disappeared. Apologies if it suddenly re-appears alongside this second attempt.

    I doubt the numbers will stack up, Ex-Noooorthcliffe. I know that investment might help drive the sale up but I don’t believe that the monies that would need to be invested in journalism and, I guess, additional newsprint would generate a sufficient return in increased sales and improved ad revenues. What scale of investment would it take to get 5000 more people to buy the Saturday edition every week and a decent hike in ad volumes and/or yields?

    Report this comment

  12. Any old tosh

    As somebody from the South West who went into reporting aspiring to work at the EP, I now no longer see the point in any of this. We may as well all jump into some other industry. Might get a job working in administration in a bank. At least there’ll always be banks…..

    Report this comment

  13. Bristolian, East Bristol

    Yet more redundancies from the Evening Post (soon going to be Post)! Perhaps it should be called ‘Stuff’.

    Not at all surprising. The paper has been driven down to a weekly paper by it’s owners who do not care about the paper itself.

    The customer is no longer interested in a drab and newsless paper.

    ‘Keeping things local’! What a joke that is, considering it is printed in Didcot and advert design and planning done in Plymouth!

    IMO, This paper could have been saved 4-5 years ago but the Management/Share holders are/were not interested!

    Another tradition disappearing.

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  14. Bristol Evil Beast, Bristol

    I fear that this is not the start of a new chapter for the Post but rather the beginning of the end. The business is in serious trouble and removing people is no longer enough. Over the years it’s taken out costs but the direction of trend remains unchanged. It’s now removing publishing days but not replacing the loss with a new publishing model – just more of the same which will inevitably continue to result in more loss in sale, loss in advertising – so cut more costs! This is not a well thought out plan but rather one of desperation from weak management. My prediction is that this is the final nail in the Evening Post coffin.

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  15. former journalist, Bristol

    As there are going to be 20 redundancies, with so few journalists to actually write news does it finally mean that managers are going to face the axe for the first time ever? Otherwise they might just have to do some work.

    Report this comment

  16. DAVE

    Journos around the Northcliffe empire beware – how safe is YOUR Satuday?

    Report this comment

  17. Ex-B(E)P, S West

    As one of the journalists culled in the last ‘night of the long knives’ this is sad news for those talented guys and girls who are left.
    Another death knell for a once-great paper driven into the ground by bean counters and management who care more about their own executive toilets than they do about their staff and product.

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  18. obmiJ, Essex

    How sad – I remember doing one of my first ever work experience stints at the Bristol Evening Post in 2005, and being struck by the sea of empty desks.

    I naively remarked that there were “a lot of people on holiday” – which met with an awkward silence and an explanation that, obviously, those people weren’t going to be coming back after a nice fortnight in the Algarve.

    Christ knows what the place looks like now. Or maybe they’ve just been relocated to a potting shed somewhere in Westbury-on-Trym.

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