A former daily editor turned newspaper consultant has predicted more daily-to-weekly frequency changes in 2014.
More than ten daily titles have moved to weekly publication over the past five years including the Birmingham Post, the Exeter Express & Echo, the Lincolnshire Echo, the Halifax Courier and the Peterborough Telegraph.
Now Peter Sands, who edited the Northern Echo in the 1990s before setting up a successful consultancy business, has said it is “certain” that more daily titles will make the switch in the next 12 months.
In a wide-ranging preview of what the year 2014 may hold for the industry, he also predicts that more football clubs and other businesses may try to charge journalists for access.
Wrote Peter: “There are more than 30 daily titles selling under 20,000 copies a day, many losing sale by 10 per cent. How long can that be sustained?
“If one thing is certain in 2014, it is that more titles will become weekly or bi-weekly.”
Peter also predicted that Newcastle United FC’s recent attempt to float the idea of charging journalists for access to players would be copied elsewhere.
“Newcastle are asking the killer questions. What value do the papers bring to the club’s business? Who needs who most?” he wrote.
“I don’t expect Newcastle to be the only club to do this. And how long before other businesses ask themselves the same questions?”
Peter’s piece, which was written for In Publishing magazine, can be viewed in full via his blog.