A regional Sunday paper is “breaking the mould” by transforming itself into a 24/7 news operation with reporters breaking stories online.
Shocking jokes, its own YouTube channel and a feline blogger are some of the new features on the Sunday Mercury’s revamped website.
But the biggest change will see the Mercury’s reporters filing breaking news stories to the website rather than waiting for the Sunday print edition.
Deputy editor Paul Cole, who is also in charge of the new online initiative, said: “We have built a website that breaks the regional newspaper mould, offering a minimum of 80pc unique material that you won’t find in the print edition, and with the emphasis on entertainment and sport.
“Although the Mercury is a Sunday title, we’re in the business of breaking big stories online as they happen, every day of the week.
“During our soft launch period, for example, we were first with the big Villa and Blues transfer tales – and that was on a Wednesday lunchtime.”
Content will be added from the Mercury’s 20-strong team of exclusive bloggers.
Among those signed up to contribute are Big Brother winner Kate Lawler (left), celebrity TV chef Glynn Purnell and Electric Light Orchestra rock legend Bev Bevan.
Other bloggers include Keogh the cat, a professional ghost-hunter and a Royal Marine Commando in Afghanistan as well as blog dedicated to the nonsense world of political correctness and health and safety.
The new site has its own YouTube channel and sections for celebrity, lifestyle, travel and sport.
The launch period also offers a free download from rock band Primal Scream and a Batman movie ticket giveaway.
Paul added: “The Sunday Mercury will still be setting the news agenda with our big exclusives, investigations, sports coverage and features each weekend.
“But now our readers can have a new Sunday every day of the week. Our pledge is that there’ll always be something new happening on the site every day of the week.
“We’re offering a good-humoured mixture that people will be talking about. We even have a daily bad joke and, believe me, they’re dreadful.”