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Jobs under threat as regional publisher closes three weeklies

Three weeklies are set to close with their sister title is set to become a midweek free title in a move which has placed a number of jobs at risk.

Trinity Mirror has confirmed it will close the Ely News, Haverhill News and Newmarket News at the end of next month.

Meanwhile, Bedfordshire on Sunday will become a midweek free paper and its companion website will be closed in early October.

Some roles will be affected and new roles will also be created, but the company has yet to confirm the numbers involved.

Newmarket News

Bedfordshire on Sunday was founded in 1977, and became part of Trinity Mirror following the group’s takeover of Local World.

The three News titles, which are also free, are run as part of the daily Cambridge News’s operation.

Simon Edgley, Trinity Mirror’s regional managing director for the South East and Central & East, said. “These decisions are never easy to make but they are necessary if we are to maintain a viable commercial operation with the opportunity to invest in the growth of our remaining news brands.

“I fully appreciate this announcement will be unsettling for those involved and we will do everything that we can in order to provide affected colleagues with the appropriate support throughout the consultation process.”

Simon took on his current role after a management restructure which saw Richard Duxbury, the former MD for the Central & East region, depart.

12 comments

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  • August 29, 2017 at 9:41 am
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    Bizarre beyond belief in Bedfordshire – this bunch launched a free midweek into the market only a couple of years back only to find that nobody wanted it, and shut it down in short order. Now, apparently, it’s a viable option even without the strength of the parent Beds On Sunday brand, however diluted it may have become since being absorbed into the corporate maw. And who needs a website these days? The whirring sound you hear must be Frank Branston spinning in his grave, as I doubt the old bugger will be able to RIP after this masterstroke.

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  • August 29, 2017 at 11:06 am
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    Idiots

    Even before this lot came they tried creating the Bedford Midweek and it fell on it’s face because the Citizen has the market there. That was with Illiffe actually putting effort in to it that this lot won’t.

    Again I ask myself why close the titles? I can’t believe that Illiffe would have not been interested in taking them over alongside their current titles.

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  • August 29, 2017 at 11:58 am
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    It is a bitter pill to swallow but all publishers need to act on underperforming titles and personnel to prevent further losses which might affect the wellbeing of the company overall.TM announced a full commercial audit and this is one of the results of that.

    My only thought is timing as surely now is the time for a good publisher to take the eastern market having just read Archants latest shocking half year report on press gazette.
    Surely they must be considering the closure or conversion of their two norwich dailies and the dwindling weekly portfolio? there’s only so long dying papers can be propped up before they succumb to closure too and the free falling sales figures indicate that time is now

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  • August 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm
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    Its a real shame Trinity Mirror didn’t sell back the Cambridge and Herts titles back to Illiffe (I hear the Herts titles are next on the chopping block) As I think Trinity Mirror have killed every Cambridge title apart from Cambridge News (but thats probably next)

    I had a look at TM’s new look Cambridge Magazine, a massive drop in quality compared to the really nice old style glossy magazine.

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  • August 29, 2017 at 12:33 pm
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    I’m not familiar with the individual titles or their copy sale and ad revenue performance but it doesn’t give a reason in here as to why the closure/ conversion is happening?
    If it’s down to being unprofitable then fair enough as that’s part of their connercial viability review ,if it’s just to save money then that’s a different story.
    I do however feel it’s time more ailing papers were fully scrutinised as looking at the latest ABC figures for daily papers in the east particularly must be running at a loss

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  • August 29, 2017 at 1:38 pm
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    Having spent far too many years going toe to toe with Frank Branston’s Beds On Sunday brigade on battlefronts across two counties, it’s sad to see how far a pioneering, award-winning and very profitable group has fallen in a few short years since being gathered into the corporate maw.

    Mr B is probably spinning in his grave, but readers will be only too aware that the surviving paper in his former stable, the string of others which have already been shut, and indeed the various rivals with which I once plied my trade, are all sad shadows of their former selves. Ozymandias, anyone?

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  • August 29, 2017 at 6:23 pm
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    The news about Bedfordshire on Sunday has rattled me more than any other announcement from this industry in recent years. When titles are struggling you can at least try to understand where a decision to close/rebrand has come from but my understanding is that this newspaper is still dominating the market and performing reasonably well. If a successful paper can’t survive what hope is there? This midweek offering is not going to be the same product.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 10:27 am
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    If the future is digital, why are they closing the BoS website?

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  • August 30, 2017 at 3:22 pm
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    Some of these comments were posted by qualified journalists. They don’t know the difference between its and it’s. So sad. No wonder newspapers are in decline.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 4:52 pm
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    Or they’re on phones that automatically change it. It’s comments on a news article not the article itself and not all of us are Journalists here my friend.

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  • August 31, 2017 at 9:18 am
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    Well said @formerloyal

    if only poor or incorrect grammar and punctuation were the reasons why the uk regional press is in serious decline
    Still,it’s good to see pedants still walk among us isn’t it @passedcaring ?

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  • September 1, 2017 at 8:54 am
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    Call me a pedant if you must, but surely it is reasonable to expect every journalist to have a good grasp of the Queen’s English? Like so many others, including teachers, nobody seems to care. I rest my case.

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