AddThis SmartLayers

Two more Johnston Press weeklies merge into single edition

Johnston Press logoA second pair of Johnston Press-owned weeklies in Yorkshire have been merged into a single print edition.

Last week HTFP reported that Johnston Press titles the Hebden Bridge Times and Todmorden News had been condensed into a single weekly newspaper.

It has now emerged that the Dewsbury Reporter and Mirfield Reporter were also merged at the same time, with the first edition of the new title being printed two weeks ago.

In recent years both have existed as individual newspapers with several common pages.

An announcement by the Mirfield Reporter, shared on the MyMirfield Facebook page, reads: “Now we are combining the two titles into one strong local paper for the two towns.

“We will continue to bring you full coverage of local news, entertainment and sport from both towns and their surrounding villages. All your regular features and columns will continue to appear in the combined paper.

“This move will protect the tradition of valued local newspaper coverage, whilst recognising and reporting on the distinct lives and events in both Mirfield and Dewsbury.

“We look forward to your continued support and urge readers across the district to continue to use the paper to publicise their news and events to the people of Dewsbury and Mirfield.”

The combined paper retains the titles of both towns, which lie about three miles apart, in its masthead.

As is the case in Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, both titles also keep their own websites and social media channels.

HTFP has requested a comment from Johnston Press on the issue.


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • October 21, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Breaks my heart a little to hear this.

    I grew up in Mirfield, and the Dewsbury Reporter was the first newspaper I worked on – more than quarter of a century ago.

    The two towns, however, are completely different, and with very contrasting identities.

    I can’t criticise Johnston Press for merging the two. After all, times are hard, and tough decisions like this need to be made. But it’s worth observing that once you believe you can merge the news requirement of two very differing needs, you’ve effectively stopped serving either of them as a newspaper.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(21)
  • October 21, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Production costs and falling revenues are now forcing JP to squeeze the last pennies from small print titles by mergers. Towns, several miles apart, with no local JP staff, are being given second-rate products which will continue the decline and encourage residents to support non-newspaper local websites and advertising booklets. Any newspaper selling less than 5,000 copies weekly can expect to be online only within five years.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(12)
  • October 21, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    If you feel for the merger of the Mirfield and Dewsbury titles, there will be merry hell in the Calder Valley, with the merging of the Tod News and the Hebden Bridge Times. Todmorden has always disliked the off cumdens who inhabit Hebden Bridge and will despise the idea that someone outside of the town will now get to know their ‘business’!

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(6)
  • October 21, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Didnt JP once have a slogan Life is Local? Looking a bit sick now with mergers and big towns having no local reporting staff. How about Life is 15 miles up the road?

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(3)
  • October 21, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    It’s true what Long in the Tooth has said. It’s like producing a combined newspaper for Manchester United and Leeds United fans and calling it ‘United Up North’. Never the twain shall meet, neither will want to read about the other and all readers will end up dissatisfied deserters. Still, JP knows best.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(3)
  • October 21, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Cut and paste ‘reporting’, skeleton staffs, phones that never ring, ex customers that never call – trouble is JP websites are clunky and dated, too. Nothing ever gets better. Gallows humour from over-stretched reporters trying to be cheerful. Don’t blame them, they’re doing their best.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(5)