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Jobs go as rebranded weekly is axed after 12 months

A free weekly newspaper launched a year ago in a hyperlocal rebrand of a 150-year-old title is to be scrapped.

The Clevedon Mercury was first published in 1860, but last year was folded into a new paper called Local People which also covered the neighbouring towns of Nailsea and Portishead.

Now Local People is itself being axed by publisher Bristol News and Media, a division of Northcliffe Media.

The title’s final edition will be on 5 April and two jobs are at risk of redundancy as a result of the move.

Bristol News and Media Publisher Alan Renwick said: “These communities are increasingly connected into the Bristol and regional markets that we serve through our flagship titles the Post and Western Daily Press.

“Indeed these publications have a combined weekly readership of almost 40,000 in North Somerset; not surprising as news and advertising from the area is at the heart of their content.

“Alongside our print products, our North Somerset communities are also served by thisissomerset.co.uk, and by localpeople.co.uk.

“We believe concentrating our efforts and resources on further building our core products is the best approach for readers and advertisers alike.”

Local People has a circulation of 29,000 of which 28,000 are distributed free.  It was named after three sister community websites – Clevedon People, Nailsea People and Portishead People – which were already up and running at the time of last year’s rebrand.

At the time, it was described by Northcliffe as “an exciting new product for the community and advertisers in Portishead, Nailsea and Clevedon.”

3 comments

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  • March 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm
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    Well why launch them in the first place then? More confused thinking from Northcliffe.

    Until the publishers focus on a proper business plan – which focuses on long term profits instead of short term gain – papers will continue to go and reporters will continue to lose their jobs.

    Why not try KEEPING staff and putting out a better paper? You never know, more people might actually buy it…

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  • March 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm
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    RIP Clevedon Mercury.

    Until a few years ago, it was a first class regional local newspaper serving its North Somerset readership.
    Then along came the ludicrously-titled people.co.uk and a stupendous fall in quality of content, quality of subbing and quality of design.

    In a word, the new product was cr*p.

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  • April 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm
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    What a sad day. The Clevedon Mercury was first published in 1876 and up until a few years ago was a great quality local paper and the offices in Clevedon housed a full editorial team, production and ad staff. Then Northciffe started making cuts. The subbing was centralised, then the editor went, the journalists were moved to Bristol (away from their patch!!) and the ad staff etc went too. The quality suffered, and then came the crazy decision to make it the local people – it became complete drivel, especially compared to its rival, Archant’s North Somerset Times, which had once been struggling to compete but is now a very good quality local edition. After a year of two papers covering exactly the same area, one had to go, and unfortunately it had to be what was the Mercury. Personally I am very sad to see it go, especially as sister paper the Weston and Worle News went a few years ago, but it was either invest in it and improve it, or cut it, and we all know Northcliffe’s preferred option is short term profit, not long term investment in quality local journalism.

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