A Midlands regional daily is to reduce its daily editions from five to two on a permanent basis after a month-long ‘trial.’
Technical issues at the Shropshire Star’s Ketley print centre meant they had already been producing two editions for the last month, and now owners the Midland News Association have decided to make the change permanent.
The move will see the newspaper’s current Shrewsbury, South and Border editions merge into an enlarged county edition which will go to print at 9.30am.
However the last edition, serving Telford, Shropshire’s largest town, will be published at 3pm, meaning the title will still have the latest deadline in the country.
Editor Keith Harrison said: “Seen in the wider context of the regional press, these changes reflect a long-term commitment to same-day publishing, on which the MNA has built its success.
“Recent technical issues at the Ketley print centre have meant we have been producing two editions per day, instead of our normal five, for the past month or so.
“This period has served as a natural trial for the change, without us seeing a related drop in sales.
“Pagination will increase to provide a greater spread of local news and our last edition deadline will still be the latest in the country.”
Despite initial fears that there would be one compulsory redundancy as a result of the change, it is understood that this is no longer the case.
An ongoing consultation period over previously-announced redundancies will continue to run until the end of June.
The MNA said that part of the edition change, the distribution network will be reviewed, which may lead to further efficiencies being made.
ABC audit results for the period July to December 2011 showed the Shropshire Star had an average daily sale of 51,240.