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Liverpool Echo to retain on-day edition

Regional publisher Trinity Mirror has confirmed that printing of the Liverpool Echo is to move to its plant at Oldham from next month.

But claims by the National Union of Journalists that it will become an “overnight paper” in direct competition with its stablemate the Liverpool Daily Post are understood to be wide of the mark.

The union put out a statement yesterday accusing the company of “setting the city’s two great newspapers against each other.”

However HTFP understands that the Echo will retain a two-edition structure, with one edition printed overnight and the other printed on the day of publication.

Trinity Mirror said in a statement yesterday that the switch to Oldham would mean “a better, brighter Echo for readers and better long-term prospects for the staff and the business.”

In a statement to staff, the company said there would be no redundancies as a result but “some working patterns in advertising and in editorial will need to be reviewed.”

But NUJ assistant organiser Jenny Lennox said: “The company says this won’t harm the Daily Post but the staff don’t believe it.

“A hundred printers have lost their jobs in the switching of production to Oldham – and we can’t be sure what this means for journalists.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ deputy general secretary, who grew up in Liverpool said: “Trinity Mirror have already sacked scores of printers and journalists in Liverpool. Now they are setting the city’s two great papers against each other.

“They are in danger of ripping the heart out of the Post and Echo which have always been at the heart of Merseyside.”

NUJ members in Merseyside will meet next week to consider the proposals.

The row comes in the wake of union claims that Trinity Mirror plans to axe eight weeklies in the Midlands and turn the Birmingham Post into a weekly.


Mr_Osato (01/07/2009 10:37:35)
‘Liverpool Echo to retain on-day edition’ – is that really the story? Surely the story is that the Echo will be on the newsstands at the same time as its stablemate the Post? Another nail in the coffin of Liverpool’s days as a two-newspaper city. They’re produced by the same teams, lest we forget, so how distinctive can the Post possibly hope to be?
Hope this headline – above an otherwise excellent, balanced report – isn’t a sign of HTFP slipping into its bad old ways

HoldtheFrontPage (01/07/2009 10:53:57)
Mr Osato, yes, in the context of the industry-wide trend towards overnight publication of one-time ‘evening’ papers, with no remaining on-day edition, we would argue that the decision of the Liverpool Echo to retain an on-day edition is the story.

Cybersocket (01/07/2009 11:44:58)
Those printers have been made redundant, not sacked. No matter what we think of the decision, we shouldn’t make it sound as if those guys did something wrong and were sacked for it. Being made redundant is losing your job when it’s not your fault. Suggesting the printers were sacked is bad form by the NUJ because it suggests they did something wrong.

Echoes of the past (01/07/2009 12:05:40)
The Post and the Echo have never been “in competition”. The former is now regularly dipping under 10,000 sales a day, while the latter is still nearer 100,000 despite Trinity Mirror’s determined efforts to wreck it.
The “on-day” edition is a complete red herring. On a good day with no traffic, you’d want to allow 45 minutes to get from Liverpool to Oldham. On a bad one, have you seen the M60 when it’s busy? It would have to be an absolutely massive story to change the paper with that sort of distribution drag. Ain’t gonna happen.

Nick Rudd (01/07/2009 12:33:48)
HTFP went on the defensive against Mr Osato very quickly there (16 mins)! The ‘on-day edition’ line might be a relevant one in areas with no locally-produced morning paper but in Liverpool, I agree it is a red herring (and a blue one, too). For the reasons stated by ‘Echoes of the Past’, who must be Lewis Hamilton in disguise to get to Oldham from Merseyside in 45 minutes, changes on the day will be impractical, so the vast majority of Echo editions will be on sale alongside the Post. No-one is going to buy both papers and this will be used as an excuse to close the Post down.

saddo (01/07/2009 13:44:53)
The Post and Echo don’t compete at all. Very few people who read the Post also buy the Echo that I know of, and the figures for the Echo show it’s same for their readers buying the Post. But what’s it got to do with the NUJ until all the facts are known? They seem to be running around second-guessing everything at the moment – and even got this wrong at first, too. Come on lads, we need a union which is focussed on supporting its members, not trying to preserve the industry

Mr_Osato (01/07/2009 14:34:18)
well Saddo, you got the name right. Is preserving the industry not in the interests of NUJ members? And doesn’t Trinity have a duty to be up front with its employees and their union.

saddo (01/07/2009 15:12:14)
Mr_Osato, the NUJ can only preserve the industry if it comes up with a solution. Just shouting about bad management won’t change anything. So it needs to focus on ensuring its members get the best deal possible within these companies while at the same time helping those members who have left the big companies and are establishing smaller companies/websites. In other words, pick the fights it can win

Cynical ex-TM journo (01/07/2009 15:12:42)
Mr Osato: “Trinity have a duty to be up front with its employees”
I believe that is an oxymoron. Trinity Mirror and up front i’m afraid to say are mutually exclusive. But you are spot on regarding the NUJ and preserving the industry. Without an industry, the NUJ will cease to have a ‘raison d’etre’, apart from continuing to allow people who are not journalists memebrship of the union.

Observer (01/07/2009 15:27:56)
Anybody thought what people in Liverpool think about their paper being printed in Manchester. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out what is likely to happen. Fools, absolute fools.

Echoes of the Past (01/07/2009 17:26:39)
But the sorry thing is, Observer, that the idiots in Canary Wharf don’t understand the Echo. They have never understood the reason it sells so many copies is its unique relationship with the people of the city. That is now broken forever. The decision to print in Manchester was the lead story on Radio Merseyside three days running – that’s what the people of the city thought about it.

HoldtheFrontPage (02/07/2009 09:35:13)
With reference to Echoes of the Past’s comment yesterday, the statement that the LDP’s sales are now “dipping under 10,000 a day” is incorrect. According to the most recent ABC figures, the paper’s circulation is 12,910.

Echoes of the Past (02/07/2009 10:31:59)
I find your faith in ABC figures quite sweet. Even so, fewer than 13,000 sales doesn’t make it competition for the Echo. It is a complete irrelevance in Merseyside except to the chattering classes and a handful of retired colonels on the Wirral.