A second Northcliffe-owned daily title is to move to weekly publication next month in the ongoing review of the group’s newspaper portfolio.
As the Torquay Herald Express published its last daily edition ahead of its relaunch as a weekly next Thursday, the publisher announced that the Scunthorpe Telegraph is also making the switch, with at least one and possibly two more titles still expected to follow.
The Telegraph, which has an average daily sale of 16,084 according to the most recent ABC figures, will publish its latest daily edition on Friday August 12.
The first weekly edition of the 74-year-old title, which bosses hope will run to around 140 pages, is due to hit the streets the following Thursday, 18 August.
It is not yet known how many jobs are at risk as a result of the change. The impact of the changes taking place at Torquay has been to reduce the editorial headcount by around half from the current level of 32.
Northcliffe Media said the decision to turn the Telegraph into a once-a-week product is part of a strategy to secure the title’s long-term sustainability.
Managing director Steve Auckland said: “This change to The Scunthorpe Telegraph is an investment in the future of the paper and will provide a fantastic product to the local community and real value to advertisers.
“The Scunthorpe Telegraph is highly valued by its readers and advertisers alike, and the new improved paper will provide the best possible product for readers in this area while offering a more valuable proposition in terms of advertising revenue.
Editor Mel Cook added: “For many years the Scunthorpe Telegraph has been at the heart of the community in North Lincolnshire. This will remain so.
“The move to a weekly publication is a reflection of the changes in our readers’ lives.
“People do not have time to read the newspaper every day. However, they still want to know what’s happening in their area.
“They still want to know about the issues that affect their lives. And they still want the Telegraph to campaign on their behalf.”
Mark Price, managing director for Grimsby and Scunthorpe Media Group, said: “This is a significant change for the business and a major step forward for advertisers in North Lincolnshire.
“The Scunthorpe Telegraph has a long tradition of serving local communities, and this will continue.
“A local paper is vital – it’s trusted, it links local people with what matters, it campaigns on local issues – and essentially tells it how it is.
“Our advertisers will experience an immediate benefit as we anticipate a single issue of the weekly to reach a much wider market than any single edition of the current daily publication.”