Regional publisher Johnston Press has announced it has closed 11 free newspapers as part of its ongoing cost reduction programme.
Eight small free titles in the Midlands have closed altogether with a further three titles have been integrated into paid for titles.
The eight titles that have now ceased publication are the Peterborough Citizen, Norfolk Citizen, Rugby Review, Northampton Mercury, Dronfield Advertiser, Eckington Leader, Peak Courier and Sheffield Gazette
The three which have been integrated into larger sister titles are the South Elms Gazette, South Bognor View and the Lutterworth Mail which, as previously reported on HTFP, is now part of sister title the Harborough Mail.
The company delivered the news to shareholders in a trading update published this morning.
It read: “Johnston Press plc (“Johnston Press” or “the Group”), one of the leading local media groups in the UK, announces an update on its digital growth strategy and cost reduction programme.
“Last week the Group launched its new responsive website, Scotsman.com. In addition a number of its smaller free print titles have been closed, which will allow the Group to focus resource on its digital offering in those and adjoining markets where the growth potential of digital is stronger.
“Eight small free print titles in the Midlands have been closed, and three small free print titles in the North Western and Southern regions have been integrated into paid titles.
“The company has also renegotiated a number of key contracts, including the outsourcing of its in-house advertising creation team and its advertising production and software development contract.
“These initiatives are part of the Group’s existing cost reduction programme and will deliver part year benefit in the last quarter of 2015, with full year benefits in 2016, as previously planned.
“The Company will provide an update on current trading and further details on its portfolio consolidation and cost reduction programme in November.”