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Northcliffe axes two weeklies as new edition launched

Regional publisher Northcliffe Media is closing two weekly newspapers at the same time as launching a new edition of a flagship title.

From next month, the Lincolnshire Echo is to launch a new edition covering the West Lindsey area of the county, containing 16-20 pages of ultra-local news and sport.

But the publisher is to close free titles the Lincoln Target and Gainsborough Target which had a combined circulation of more than 45,000.

Announcing the move, the company said that the Echo’s switch from daily to weekly last year meant it was now the best way to reach readers across the area.

Echo editor Steven Fletcher said:  “This is a great opportunity to grow the Echo’s readership. Lincolnshire is such a large county that publishing a West Lindsey edition will allow us to do what local papers do so well – give ultra-local content to the area’s many readers.

“It’s a positive move and we’re looking forward to it. The new weekly Echo has been well received and we’re trying to grow the business all the time. This is the latest step.”

In a statement, the company said:  “Since the Lincolnshire Echo changed its publishing frequency in October 2011, the need to continue producing the Lincoln Target and the Gainsborough Target has been closely monitored,” it said.

“The switch from a daily to a weekly publication, has allowed the Echo to offer more in depth content and provide a compelling offering for advertisers.

“With the current ABC showing at a 33pc increase on the previous average daily sale, the Echo is the best way to reach readers across the area.

“With this in mind, the decision has been made to close both the Lincoln Target and the Gainsborough Target. The streamlined  product portfolio will focus the business on more effectively delivering even better publications and digital solutions to both readers and advertisers.”

According to the last set of ABC figures, the Gainsborough Target had a circulation  of 14,492 and the Lincoln Target 30,992.

The last two editions of will be published on 13 July with the new edition of the Echo launched on 19 July.


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  • June 11, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Are the Target staff staying on or getting the boot?

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  • June 11, 2012 at 9:59 am

    The usual Northcliffe smoke and mirrors, masking a cost-cutting HQ directive which will no doubt allow the ‘management team’ at the top to suggest to the City, once more, that they are ‘growing profits’.
    They are doing nothing of the sort and any growth in profits for Northcliffe is simply cost cut upon cost cut.
    Those profits will rise further very shortly when the new diktat to only spend a fixed proportion of revenues on editorial costs starts to bite too…..result = happy shareholders and trashed titles.
    To use the official language of Northcliffe these days – show me t’chuffin money!

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  • June 11, 2012 at 10:57 am

    More of this to come.

    Free weeklies founded on property advertising rapidly don’t work any more.

    Turn them into paid for weeklies with lower print run and less waste makes sense.

    Just a shame Northcliffe’s team in the South West did not understand this when they retreated from Weston and Clevedon.

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  • June 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Firstly – what head office – it’s now a staff of two!!!!
    I don’t really know why northcliffe (used to warrant a Capital “N” not any more) even bother to release this junk other than to keep some PR company on contract!

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  • June 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Above all else though, small advertisers who want to target local sales won’t be able to afford the higher rates if advertising which will follow, or they will realise their adverts are less well targeted and thus less effective. Whichever way you look at it it’s a huge loss for the local community and their businesses

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