Newsagents have hit out at regional publisher Newsquest after cover price increases at two further titles were not passed on.
The National Federation of Retail Newsagents said the price of the Hampshire Chronicle has gone up from 70p to £1, while the Bournemouth Echo costs 20p more each day – up to 65p on weekdays and 85p on Saturdays.
But the organisation said the retail terms have been slashed so newsagents will receive a smaller cut for each copy sold.
It comes after the NFRN earlier this month criticised other Newsquest titles for putting up cover prices but not passing on pro rata terms to its members.
The NRFN said the retail margin for the Hampshire Chronicle had been cut from 25pc to 20pc, while the retail margin for the Bournemouth Echo was down from 22.6pc to 21pc.
NFRN vice-president Colin Fletcher, who has a store in Hampshire, said: “This is yet another kick in the teeth for independent newsagents who have given unstinting support to these local papers.
“The Hampshire Chronicle is one of the oldest newspapers in the country and the Bournemouth Echo is well established in the town, but both are treating their readers and newsagents with huge contempt.
“Such price hikes, accompanied by income reductions for retailers who are already suffering from rising costs, is nothing short of despicable and it’s possible that both papers could ultimately fall on their own swords as a result of these actions.”
The NRFN said the latest cover price rises meant this was the tenth time this year that increases at Newsquest titles had not been accompanied by pro rate terms. It added margins had only been maintained in seven instances.
Newsquest had not responded to requests for a comment at the time of publication.