Trinity Mirror is shutting two county-wide news websites – saying they lack the readership to sufficiently match the company’s “digital revenue ambitions”.
The regional publisher has announced Get Hampshire and Get Bucks, which covers Buckinghamshire, will be closed from Tuesday.
Visitors to the former will be redirected to the neighbouring Get Surrey site, while both brands will retain a presence on Facebook to complement TM’s print titles in the two counties – the Buckinghamshire Examiner, Buckinghamshire Advertiser, Surrey Hants Star Courier and the News & Mail series, which has Fleet & Yateley, Farnborough, Aldershot and Camberley & Sandhurst editions.
No jobs are affected by the sites’ closure.
Staff were told about the move in an internal memo sent on behalf of Simon Edgley, TM regional managing director for South East & Central & East, which has been seen by HTFP.
It reads: “As you know the Trinity Mirror digital strategy is to grow an audience of scale built on local, loyal readers for our key sites.
“Our newsrooms are built to be digital-first and driven by analytics. In the South East we have an enviable record of audience growth. Thanks to the clever, hard work of editorial, page views in June across the key sites, Get Surrey, Get WestLondon, Kent Live, Croydon Advertiser, and Essex Live were more than 50pc up on 2016.
“Following a digital portfolio review, we do not believe that we are in a position to grow the sites Get Bucks and Get Hampshire to the audience size required to deliver on our digital revenue ambitions. We have, therefore, regretfully come to the decision to close these sites from 1 August.
“Get Hampshire will redirect to the successful GetSurrey site which had 5.5m page views in June and where there is a proven appetite for these stories. Get Hampshire and Get Bucks will retain their presence on Facebook to complement our continued engagement with our readers in print.”
Get Hampshire was founded in 2008, while Get Bucks began in 2013.
In recent years, Trinity Mirror has switched to a system of operating county-wide websites in some regions, closing the sites of individual newspapers in the process.
As well as the titles mentioned in Simon’s memo, the company also operates county-wide sites in Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire and Somerset.