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Editors tell how to 'bounce back' in a tough climate

Four regional newspaper editors – and one from the nationals – have told the Society of Editors’ Conference how they are bouncing back in a tough sales climate.

Nick Owen, of ITV News, opened the discussion and said: “I started work at my local newspaper 40 years ago and I still read that paper today. Iknow how that paper has bounced back despite its economic problems but bouncing back is what it’s all about.”

Editor of the Liverpool Daily Post, Jane Wolstenholme, talked about relaunching a paper that research showed readers thought had become rather dated.

Jane, (left), said: “It’s early days for the paper. This is only year one of the re-launch and our sales are up 4.7 per cent from June. The true test is what will happen in the years to come.”

There are now two papers after the relaunch created a Daily Post for North Wales and another for Liverpool and Cheshire.

Jane spent the first year of her editorship planning for the changes, which included an increased cover price.

She said: “We felt we needed not just separate editions but separate papers entirely. We changed our design to make it look as different, clean and radical as possible.

“We also took a long hard look at distribution and promotion.

“The reception was overwhelmingly positive. Liverpool is undergoing a major renaissance and the city was ripe for change. We made the right changes at the right time and the target market was absolutely receptive to them.”

To increase the readership of over 35-year-old ABC1s they also changed the masthead to read ‘Liverpool Daily Post’, added an extra 40 pages across the week and printed it on high quality newsprint.

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©NEP 2004