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Free weeklies turned online only by publisher

A regional publisher which has scrapped the printing of most of its weekly freesheets and transformed them into e-editions says it has seen a 50pc increase in web traffic in three months.

Archant KoS Media took the decision to stop printing all but one of its ‘Your’ titles, which are instead published solely as e-editions.

The papers, which had a print run of around 100,000 each week, are now produced online using PageSuite technology and resulted in a major increase in web traffic – although the move is understood to have resulted in an overall decline in total readership.

KoS Media, which was bought out by Archant last June, is continuing to print the Your Tunbridge Wells newspaper but its other ‘Your’ titles, which include Your Ashford, Your Canterbury, Your Maidstone and Your Sandwich are only available online.

The move to scrap the printed editions in January comes after KoS Media announced an editorial restructure last December in response to ‘challenging trading conditions’, which put eight jobs at risk.

Managing director Paul Stannard told the decision to go online-only was not related to the cost of printing the titles and had allowed the company to invest in and expand its two flagship free papers Kent on Saturday and Kent on Sunday.

He said around 180,000 people a week now subscribed to or accessed the e-editions online.

Mr Stannard added the e-editions were not “confined by print and can be a bit experimental”, for example in using videos within them.

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  • March 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    So Archant’s MD says the decision was ‘not related to the cost of printing’. Oh really? Well, perhaps we can be told how much £s has been saved by going on-line? Oh, and how much advertising rates have been reduced by due to this economy measure and/or the reduction in readership levels. If nothing else, it will help us all to understand the financial formula of what is sure to become an unstoppable trend.

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