29 July 2014

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Northern daily to raise weekday cover price by 30pc

The Northern Echo has become the latest Newsquest title to announce a steep rise in cover price with the weekday cost of the paper set to rise by 30pc.

Editor Peter Barron announced in a blog post yesterday that the price of the paper will increase from 50p to 65p from Monday to Friday and from 80p to 90p on Saturday.

However the price hike will also be accompanied by an increase in pagination of up to eight pages a day.

And the paper is also revamping its edition structure by splitting its current North Yorkshire and Teesside edition into two.

Other Newsquest dailies which have raised cover prices in recent months have included The Argus, Brighton, and the Bournemouth Echo.

The regional publisher has appeared to favour a strategy of increasing cover prices as a means of recouping lost circulation revenues as opposed to cutting costs by reducing frequency.

Wrote Peter:  “When it comes to delivering bad news, I always feel it is best to come straight to the point. The price of The Northern Echo is about to increase by 15p per day on weekdays and 10p on Saturdays.

“I appreciate that this is a substantial rise which some readers may at first consider to be unacceptable but it is important that I, as the paper’s editor for nearly 15 years, explain why it is necessary.

“Editors of newspapers working in today’s increasingly fragmented media industry face very tough choices. Advertising revenues, which have been the foundation of the newspaper business for generations, have declined dramatically and that trend is continuing in the midst of the global economic malaise.

“The choice is therefore this: ask readers to pay more, ask advertisers to pay more, or cut costs. In the current economic climate, asking advertisers to pay more is not tenable and cutting costs, beyond cuts made in recent years, will undermine our editorial service across the North-East and North Yorkshire.

“If the price rise is the bad news, the good news is that there will be significant investment in The Northern Echo to make it an even better newspaper, with more comprehensive coverage of news and sport.

“The aim is to make The Northern Echo the ideal one-stop newspaper for readers in the North-East and North Yorkshire, providing a unique blend of local, regional and national news and sport.”

The increase in pagination will see the number of national news pages increased to five while sport will also be getting an extra two pages.

And the Echo Memories local history pullout, published on Saturday and edited by deputy editor Chris Lloyd, will be expanded.

There will now be five editions covering Darlington, Durham, South Durham, Teesside and North Yorkshire, with all content appearing in each edition but local stories given greater prominence.

Peter added that the price of a single issue of the paper is still less than that of a Mars Bar while a week’s papers are “no more expensive than a pint of beer.”

1 Comment

  1. Scoop

    5 national news pages!!! Two more sport sounds good, as long as it’s not more drawn out football guff. Local sport is what everyone I know seems to want to see, not just league football

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