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West Country town loses second newspaper in two months

A Somerset town is set to lose its second newspaper in the space of two months with the closure of another free weekly.

The Newsquest-owned Yeovil Express will go to print for the last time next week, hard on the heels of the closure of Northcliffe’s Yeovil Times last month.

Although there has been no official confirmation of the proposed closure, HTFP understands advertisers have been told the Express will cease publication on 20 December, while the Times published its last issue on 6 November.

It is expected that all four editorial jobs at the Express will be lost.

The closures will leave Northcliffe’s paid-for Western Gazette as the only remaining newspaper based in the town.

According to the last set of ABC figures, the Express had a weekly distribution of 20,270 while the Times had a distribution of 27,046.

HTFP contacted Yeovil Express chief reporter Steve Sowden about the proposed closure and received a response from Alex Cameron, news editor of the sister title the Somerset County Gazette, who said there would be no comment from the company.

Northcliffe Media has yet to issue any public statement on the closure of the Yeovil Times.

The loss of the two free titles comes amidst a spate of pre-Christmas closure announcements across the local press industry.

Last month we reported on the closure of another Northcliffe Media-owned Somerset title, the Bridgwater and Burham Times which went to press for the last time on Thursday.

Further afield, Trinity Mirror closed the Darlington and South Durham Herald and Post, Cannock Chase Post, Stafford Post and Sutton Coldfield News last month along with three West Midlands and merged three Merseyside weeklies into one.

Northcliffe Media has closed the East Kent Gazette and Medway News, while Iliffe News and Media’s Your Leek Paper also went to press for the last time last month.


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  • December 15, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Only to be expected, and many more to follow.

    Don’t forget that the local fee newspaper revolution only came about because local paid for’s were unable to service large volumes of colour property advertising. Due to the press facilities of the time and the fact they had not broken the stranglehold of the print unions.Once these issue were dealt with the established paid for groups started to buy up and launch competing frees. Anyone out there remember the ring of steel strategies ?

    The single biggest financial pillar of local frees was always large volumes of low yield property advertising, that’s gone – to return ?

    Good news for local weekly paid for’s though.

    Watch this space for Northcliffe free’s closing where they compete with Newsquest paid fors !

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  • December 15, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Hey, Spanner, get your apostrophe/plural protocol sorted out, will you?

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  • December 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Presumably Spanner is some kind of journalist – but cannot get apostrophes etc sorted out. Is our trade on the decline? Otherwise he makes fair points. I think…..!

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