A regional daily has split into two editions as part of a revamp designed to lead to further editionising across its patch.
The Manchester Evening News launched its North and South editions yesterday with a dedicated front page for each and a further change page inside the paper.
From March, the paper will change more prominent news and sports pages in the two editions, with pages 3, 5 and 7 containing a mix of news from the city centre and communities to either the north or south.
The revamp has also seen a new look brought in for the paper’s CityLife entertainment section, along with the launch of a new Faith Matters column featuring writers from different faith groups and a new Nostalgia section twice a week, featuring old photos from the area.
Rob Irvine, editor-in-chief of MEN Media, said: “Why North and South? A case could be argued for eight editions but for practical purposes we are focussing on a simple division, understanding from local knowledge that those north of the city tend to work and live there or in the centre and vice versa for the south.
“Further down the line we will aim to roll out further localised editions, probably aimed at home delivery customers.”
“People respond more readily to news which influences them directly or refers to people or places with which they are familiar.
“This is challenging for a regional paper covering an area the size of Greater Manchester. By creating two zones we improve our chances of connecting with readers through content. We also increase the opportunity for the newspaper sales team to drive sales – put simply we have two front pages rather than one to promote.”
In the North edition, stories for the South will be packaged on page 15 and vice versa, so all readers get the same mix of content but prioritised according to geographical relevance.
The new editions will be backed by a marketing campaign in MEN Media’s print and online publications, along with external marketing.
Announcing the move to readers, the paper said: “There will now be two editions of your favourite paper tailored to where you live within Greater Manchester – the north and the south.
“This includes a front page dedicated to your area and specific pages inside with all the latest local news and information for where you live.
“Both editions will still carry all the big stories from across Greater Manchester, but will have a greater focus on the area where you live.”