But the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, which claims to account for 30pc of newspaper sales, condemned the newspaper publisher for the move.
It says the plans will hit local communities as well as impacting on local newsagents and their delivery staff.
National president Kieran McDonnell said: “Local newspapers are an essential part of community life. They are the fabric of their towns and villages and we cannot allow such a vital source of local information to disappear.
“This is yet another assault by Johnson Press on the livelihoods of local news retailers. Moving these five titles from daily to weekly publication represents a potential loss of 420,000 copies a week. This will have a massive impact on the revenues of hard working newsagents as millions of pounds are wiped out of the retail market.”
“That’s not all. Delivering evening newspapers is, for many teenagers, their first taste of work. With these five papers now set to appear on a weekly basis only, thousands of young newsboys and girls could find themselves out of a job.
“For all these reasons the NFRN is demanding an urgent meeting with Mr Highfield.
The NFRN was already up in arms with JP over a decision to raise the price of the Saturday edition of the Yorkshire Post by 10p without passing on the same margin to retailers
Johnston Press has not so far responded to requests for a comment.