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Editor says falling pound a factor in daily’s post-relaunch price increase

A regional daily’s six-month rolling relaunch has concluded with a price increase – with its editor stating the pound’s falling value is among the reasons for the move.

The News, Portsmouth, has completed a revamp which has seen the newspaper introduce features including turning pages two and three into daily ‘digest’ pages, a feature lifted from Johnston Press national sister title the i.

The News has also expanded its what’s on and leisure coverage, introduced new daily lifestyle pages and a ‘City Buzz’ page to celebrate good things going on in Portsmouth.

However, the paper has announced it has gone up in price on weekdays from 75p to 80p, although the price of its weekend edition remains at 90p.

The News, now priced at 80p, has completed a rolling relaunch

The News, now priced at 80p, has completed a rolling relaunch

In a message to readers announcing the move, editor Mark Waldron wrote: “Such increases are never pleasing for me and my team and we know it will be a feeling shared by many of you. So it is not a decision we take lightly.”

He added: “But we operate within a world with some very harsh financial realities. Without advertising, this newspaper would cost several pounds for each edition.

“Fortunately, our advertisers subsidise this figure, but in a digital age that subsidy has reduced. At the same time, the physical cost of printing this paper is rising rapidly.

“The cost of paper alone is increase by between eight and 12pc as a result of the fall in value of the pound, a considerable annualised sum for all publishers. We also have similar increases for the ink we use.

“A price rise will help us cover the rising costs of production and it will safeguard against fluctuations in the advertising market. It will also ensure we can continue to provide quality and trusted journalism – something more important than ever in these days of deep political changes and the rise of fake news.”

7 comments

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  • April 21, 2017 at 7:29 am
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    If something is perceived to be of value or meets a need people will buy it, if it isn’t they won’t, similarly if a business cannot be run efficiently and effectively without passing its own internal costs onto the end user it cannot be surprised if further sales losss are incurred, business is as simple as that.

    If they can’t manage costs by any other means than increasing the price of a paper already losing ground then there are clearly internal issues in cost control which need resolving first.
    Isn’t this also the paper who pleaded with the public to buy its ailing sports edition or it would face closure too ?
    A recurring theme

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  • April 21, 2017 at 7:43 am
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    Price rise decisions are made many months in advance, by people much higher up the food chain than editors, who are then left to take the consequences and assemble the excuses. The pubs of Portsmouth will not be awash with worries about the fall in the value of the £ (what particular fall by the way, against what?) and the “considerable annualised sum” (I’m sorry, Mr Editor?) this has engendered. I’m not convinced this particular batch of excuses, and the clunky way it is worded, will be well received by readers.

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  • April 21, 2017 at 8:14 am
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    First it was the credit crunch, then brexit, now the falling pound,however you dress it up and whatever excuse you make it will always be seen as a price increase.
    Those who currently buy will rethink whether they’re prepared to pay more and the best that will happen is only a few will stop buying, those who don’t buy now won’t be buying at a higher price.
    Perhaps they should look at higher level salaries and ad reps selling too cheap?
    Often the last throw of the dice…….although I’m sure it’s not the case here.

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  • April 21, 2017 at 11:39 am
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    It’s the editor I feel sorry for as just reading the piece you know he’s been handed a company line to trot out ,however he accepted the role so as such must accept all that goes along with it, poor excuses for a price rise and all, along with the Ill feeling and fall out this is likely to incur.
    using ‘fluctuations in the advertising market’ as another reason for lost revenue is not the fault of the public or readers so they shouldn’t be expected to bear the cost of the papers lost revenues , if local business people see the value in this paper they’ll advertise, if they don’t they won’t, much like the first commenter points out.

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  • April 21, 2017 at 12:21 pm
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    Next excuse trotted out? ‘We had to put the price up because the wind’s blowing in the wrong direction’.

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  • April 21, 2017 at 12:51 pm
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    Why do regional paper editors feel the need to play the little violin because sales aren’t what they should be and advert revenues have collapsed causing a panic cover price increase?
    If they told it as it is rather than go for the sympathy vote more people might even accept the increase, and he might retain some credibility, chances are many will use this as a reason to stop buying the paper.

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