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Regional daily editor defends 10p cover price rise

Andy Richardson 1A regional daily editor has defended a 10p price rise at his paper, saying it is necessary to enable it to continue covering “proper” news.

The price of the Northern Echo’s weekend edition has risen by 10p in a move editor Andy Richardson, left, says will allow the Darlington-based newspaper to continue to produce “high quality content”.

The weekend edition now costs £1.20, although the weekday editions of the Echo remain at 80p.

In an editorial about the increase, Andy told readers he felt it “important” to explain why the change was necessary – citing declining advertising revenues and social media competition.

He wrote: “Advertising revenues, which have been the foundation of the newspaper business for generations, have declined significantly in recent years and that trend is continuing in the midst of fierce competition from social media businesses and the revolution which has taken place in the way in which we all consume news.

“We are always extremely reluctant to increase the price of any of our titles but to deliver the high quality content which we know you value we have had to implement this modest rise.

“If the price increase is the bad news, the good news is that The Northern Echo continues to be the number one newspaper for readers in the North-East and North Yorkshire who value its unique blend of local, regional and national news, nostalgia, comment, arts, culture and sport.

“By continuing to buy the Echo you are making an investment in the investigative reporting and campaigning journalism which remains at the heart of what we do. Thank you for your continued support.”

Andy told HTFP: “We still publish ‘proper’ newspapers up here in Darlington. What I mean by that is we still send reporters to cover court proceedings and to council meetings.

“We hold politicians to account, expose wrongdoing, and the revelation earlier this year that Cleveland Police had tapped the phones of some Echo reporters showed that our reputation for investigative reporting was alive and well.

“We have some talented people here and top quality journalism costs. These are relatively modest price rises but I accept that even a small increase can be unpopular.

“All that my team can do is to continue to publish newspapers that are worth the cover price.”




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  • October 5, 2017 at 9:48 am

    The patronising and lame excuses being trotted out here will fool no one following years of good bonuses and top rate advertising when publishers had the market and the short term panic measure of increasing the cover charge has never worked, it loses more readers than it gains and alienates regular readers and doesn’t pick up sufficient new casual sales to offset losses. Wfeee I am this knee jerk strategy has resulted in the worst sales figures ever and will likely see the daily papers chagrin format or go free in the very near future

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  • October 5, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Time to ditch newsprint , low quality ink on your fingers product has had it’s day and is poor value for the customer. If you need print- which advertisers still want and will pay good money for – then publish weekly glossy magazine format.Looks more attractive and something that customers might pay for.

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  • October 5, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Another cover price rise – another impending fall in circulation. Is it not time that regional newspaper managements changed the record? They have been playing the same old song for 40 plus years now, and still the penny has failed to drop. Managements continue to set their pricing policies as if they were selling something people were desperate to buy, when the evidence of desperate circulation figures how that this is simply not true.
    To be fair, however, I doubt there is little they can do in the long term to halt the disastrous decline. There are dark days indeed for a once proud industry.

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  • October 5, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    “Necessary to enable it to continue covering “proper” news?” Will he be increasing his news team’s wages and expenses by the same margin? I doubt it..

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  • October 10, 2017 at 9:55 am

    “….“All that my team can do is to continue to publish newspapers that are worth the cover price….”

    If the public perceived them to be vfm more people would buy them so there’s something missing somewhere along the line?
    If the content is as strong and as comprehensive as he says it is and unique to the newspaper,not old news or recycled pieces from the web feeds it must be down to the sales reps who simply need to sell more adverts, as sure as eggs are eggs people will reconsider their purchase in when the price increases and many will decide to get their news elsewhere and probably for free.
    Cover hikes never ever work and it’s usually the last throw of the dice when new ideas,having a product people want and will pay to read and advertise in and basically everything else has failed.

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