A regional daily newspaper will switch to weekly publication in January with the loss of around six editorial jobs, Trinity Mirror has announced today.
The Liverpool Daily Post will become The Liverpool Post and will be published every Thursday from the New Year as a 100-page bumper edition.
The 156-year-old title becomes the fifth regional daily to go weekly in the past three months and the first outside the Northcliffe Media stable.
Northcliffe blazed the trail for what many see as a potential way forward for the industry this summer by taking the Torquay Herald Express, Scunthorpe Telegraph, Exeter Express & Echo and Lincolnshire Echo to weekly publication.
In the most recent ABC figures published in August, it recorded a year-on-year circulation decrease of 2.1pc to stand at an average daily sale of 8,217 – smaller than all four of the Northcliffe dailies-turned-weeklies.
Trinity Mirror has also announced that four free Liverpool weekly titles are to be merged into two new community newspapers.
The Bootle Times, Maghull and Aintree Star and Anfield Star will become The Star and will be available within the Tuesday edition of the Liverpool Echo alongside Merseymart.
Daily Post editor Mark Thomas said: “We are lucky to be custodians of one of the great brands in journalism and we’ve been serving our city for 156 years.
“This change sets us up to serve it for the next 156 – in print and online and through whichever channels readers seek to receive it.
“We’ve just completed research which proves yet again how much people like and want our current content mix.
“However, we appreciate that the world is changing and people’s buying habits and news consumption requirements are very different.
“There is clear evidence that a bumper Post once a week, full of high-quality news, views and analysis, will be better for readers and a more appealing vehicle for advertisers.
“This move enables us to maximise brand potential in what are extraordinarily challenging times for the media industry and for business in general.”
He added: “We realise there will be many Post followers who will still want a daily update on the news. We will make sure that they get that through our website www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk which will update all news with our usual special emphasis on business, sport, the arts, and politics.
“We are also working on exciting new plans for developing the website further.”
The company said the change will have no impact on the Liverpool Echo but was expected to result in the loss of approximately six editorial jobs.
Managing Director of Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales, Warren Butcher, said: “We recognise that the proposed changes are fundamental and that they affect long-lived and much-loved brands.
“However, a change in approach is vital. Our business has been built on the ability to be proactive and to continually adapt our portfolio to reflect market conditions and changing consumer trends.
“We are convinced these changes will strengthen and add greater relevance to our portfolio in the long term and in turn improve the service we provide to both readers and advertisers.”
The National Union of Journalists has condemned the move and called it a ‘national tragedy.’
Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands Organiser, said: “This is the latest in a string of grim redundancy announcements by Trinity Mirror. Turning the Liverpool Daily Post into a weekly is a real gamble by the company with a title that has a prestigious history of publishing.
“As a union, we remain to be convinced that this format is likely to be a successful way forward in Britain’s big cities.
“Trinity Mirror has already carried out a similar operation with the Birmingham Post some two years ago but the jury is still out on the impact on circulation.”