A new era dawned for the Torquay Herald Express today as it published its first weekly edition after 86 years as a daily.
The new-look paper weighed in at 192 pages with editor Andy Phelan saying the response from advertisers had been “tremendous.”
The South Devon title is the first of what is expected to be up to four Northcliffe-owned dailies to make the switch to weekly publication following a portfolio review by new managing director Steve Auckland.
Around half of the 32 journalists’ jobs on the title have been axed ahead of the weekly relaunch.
Said Andy: “It’s obviously early days but so far the response is very positive. We have a 192-page newspaper out on the stands with a major merchandising effort going on.
“We’ve facelifted the design, which seems to be well-received – the watchword there was to ensure it was still recognisably the Herald Express, and we took a similar approach with content.
“We know the readers liked the daily, the comparatively strong circulation performance showed that, so lots of familiar names, faces and features are there.
“The response from advertisers has been tremendous and we’re very hopeful that readers will like it.”
Mr Auckland added: “The transition of the Herald Express from daily to weekly, as part of the wide-ranging review of Northcliffe Media, has exceeded all our expectations.
“The advertising performance for this first paper was up 19pc from an average full week of daily figures and morale in the Torquay centre is really high.
“The MD, Andrew Blair and editor Andy Phelan have, with their teams, performed miracles to turn this round with only six weeks’ notice. We’re looking forward to an excellent sales figure.”
The last daily edition of the Herald Express, which had an average daily circulation of 21,112 according to the most recent ABC figures, was published last Friday.
Next month will see the Scunthorpe Telegraph switching from daily to weekly, with possibly two more Northcliffe titles to follow.