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Weekly newspaper to close due to ‘changing customer needs’

A weekly newspaper is set to cease publication with its publisher citing “changing reader habits and customer needs” for the decision.

Trinity Mirror has confirmed the Bristol Observer will go to print for the last time on 30 November.

It is the fifth weekly title to be closed by TM in recent months – after Bedfordshire on Sunday, the Ely News, Haverhill News and Newmarket News. although the Bedfordshire title has since been replaced by a new free print product called Bedfordshire Midweek.

No staff roles are at risk as a result of the closure of the Observer, which operated as a free companion title to city daily the Bristol Post.

Bristol O

The Bristol Observer was first published as The New Observer in February 1965, and was split into several editions in the 1980s.

A Trinity Mirror spokesman said: “The last edition of the Bristol Observer, a free weekly title, will be November 30th.  This decision is driven by changing reader habits and customer needs.

“As we grow our local online audience to new highs, readers will be able to find their local news online at or in print in the Bristol Post.

“No staff roles will be affected by the closure.”


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  • November 1, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Shame nobody thought to give the ‘customer’ what they wanted. It’s less of a joke that the people who really know are now ( redundant) and too busy driving taxis.

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  • November 1, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    I’m not familiar with this title so could someone tell me please why it was launched as a companion title to an already existing paper?
    This is often done to protect the advertising revenues of the main title as and when a competitor opens on the patch , it certainly has been the case where I am, as a result the new title often has only a limited life span usually being closed once the competitor has gone away

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  • November 1, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    In response to Norridge: rationales for launching the Bristol Observer may have included reaching readers who did not wish/bother to actively buy a daily (or former daily – the Bristol Post is now only five-day-a-week) paper but might leaf through a free publication delivered weekly to their homes or businesses, especially as it focused, or used to, on editionalised hyperlocal news. In recent years, following 2005’s closure of its (un)dedicated newsdesk, the vast majority of its editorial content constituted ‘repurposed’ Bristol Post material, making the Observer’s editorial running costs negligible while retaining scope for advertising revenue.

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  • November 1, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    As a former Bristol Observer employee, I am still owed severance pay plus 13.75 years’ interest. What tidier time to settle this outstanding debt than the moment of the paper’s closure?

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  • November 2, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Thanks very much for the background Francis it’s a familiar story and one I have seen before but usually when an independent paper was launched prompting panic accompanied by sudden editorial interest in an area and extra commercial resources thrown into the fray then stood down once the opposition closes.

    Good luck with the severance pay

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