The biggest change in the 120-year history of two Cambridgeshire newspapers will take place tomorrow, when their Friday publication day is moved forward to a Wednesday.
Editor Brian Asplin – who has risen from junior reporter to editor during 39 years with the Fenland papers – said the move was timed to offer readers improved coverage of the local elections.
He said: “We’ll have the latest news out on the street before polling day on May 1 and we will be first with the big stories afterwards.”
The move to Wednesday follows the sales success of sister titles like The Hunts Post, which has posted ten successive annual circulation increases.
Brian said: “Other titles had an immediate uplift and haven’t looked back since. Having two extra days on sale before the weekend seems to be the key to that. Not only that, but it enables us to live up to our new slogan: First for Fenland!
“We turned them both tabloid in 1985 after a century of publishing as broadsheet newspapers, but I think this change is even more important and exciting.”
Managing editor Paul Richardson, who is also responsible for newspaper sales, said: “If we were starting with a blank sheet of paper, we would want to bring these brilliant, community-focused weekly newspapers out on a Wednesday, to maximise their undoubted quality by putting them in front of as many local people as possible.
“The huge effort already put in by so many people to make this happen has really made this an exciting place to be. I’m sure Brian and his team will convert that spirit into the newspapers and through to the people of Fenland.”
The change of publication day is being supported by the major retailers in the area, a £20,000 promotion and a free classifieds campaign.
Archant Anglia is part of Archant, the media group which owns regional newspapers, contract and consumer magazines, contract print and Internet businesses.
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