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Former evening title goes back to roots

A daily paper which now publishes overnight returned to its evening newspaper roots yesterday with a special late edition.

The Leader, based in Wrexham, broke the story of the sale of the town’s Racecourse football ground to neighbouring Glyndwr University.

It necessitated a second on-day print run with a revised splash and inside coverage.

The paper was rushed out for sale before noon, just as the bare bones of the story began appearing elsewhere online.

Leader editorial manager Tim Bowden with the special edition

The Leader had already had the story of the ground’s sale to neighbouring Glyndwr University, including an exclusive interview with vice chancellor Professor Michael Scott, ready to run on Tuesday night.

But a last minute issue with the deal meant an alternative front page was run instead – followed by the special late edition when the sale was finally confirmed the next morning.

Tim Bowden, editorial manager for Leader publisher NWN Media, said: “The Leader has led the coverage of the crisis at Wrexham FC and the ownership of its ground has been central to talks over its future.

“The sale of The Racecourse to Glyndwr is a huge story and, once we knew the deal had been agreed, it was important to get it into the hands of readers as quickly as possible.

“That meant getting hard copies on to the streets of Wrexham, rather than simply covering the story online.

“The team has spent months closely following this story and it was because of these efforts we were able to give our readers the full picture so quickly.”

NWN editorial director Barrie Jones added: ” It is such a big story for the area and as a news team we were delighted to pay a brief visit back to the mid-morning deadlines of our past as an evening title.

“Despite our overnight publication giving us longer shelf life in the shops and increased sale, in the newsroom there is nothing like the tempo and excitement of a traditional evening paper deadline to deliver a story.

“It is good to know we still have the flexibility to do this when we need to.”

The one-time Evening Leader became The Leader after its moved to overnight printing on 14 September 2009.


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  • August 4, 2011 at 8:46 am

    And why has this been done? Because it will sell. The same principle behind on-the-day printing for donkey’s years. Good work by staff and let’s hope other papers can find space on the presses for on-the-day news again in the future.

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  • August 4, 2011 at 10:50 am

    “Despite our overnight publication giving us longer shelf life in the shops and increased sale”. I didn’t see that gem. Priceless. By longer shelf-life, I presume he means it stays on the shelf longer. As for increased sales … eh? ABC’s 2011 – The Leader (Wrexham, Flintshire & Chester) 17,530 -4.6pc. So again, good story, well covered, good effort. But don’t lie about overnight printing benefiting anyone.

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  • August 4, 2011 at 11:55 am

    well done The Leader. how the proper evening papers which were so good are missed.
    They were great fun to work on- three deadlines a day and reporters daren’t miss them. Terrific training for moving up to the nationals.
    Young hacks working to next day editions don’t know what they are missing.
    Those printed overnight now look so stale and many have taken a massive dive in sales and axed editions.
    It’s weird that in an era of instant communications daily local papers want to print their news next morning. It shows in their tired coverage, but maybe we should be glad they survive at all.

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