Two sister dailies are set to become weeklies with the loss of five jobs, amid claims people only read the newspapers once a week.
At the same time, a Gloucestershire edition of the Western Daily Press will be launched to cater for readers in the county who still want a daily print product.
TM has confirmed that there will be a net loss of up to five jobs as a result of the changes, with six of the existing nine Cheltenham-based production roles disappearing and one new one being created.
The frequency changes are the first to take place in the former Northcliffe group, now part of Trinity Mirror, since the Lincolnshire Echo, Scunthorpe Telegraph, Exeter Express & Echo and Torquay Herald Express went from daily to weekly in 2011.
Triniy Mirror itself took the Liverpool Daily Post weekly in the same year before closing the title altogether in December 2013.
In a memo to staff, which has been seen by HTFP, TM South West regional managing director Sarah Pullen said the change was being dictated by the “behaviour of our readers and the amazing growth success of our website Gloucestershire Live”.
Said Sarah: “We still have a loyal print audience but the majority of the people who read the Echo or the Citizen do so just once a week.
“Daily readership is coming more and more from our website Gloucestershire Live and our digital audience – not just on the site but across social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter – is showing amazing year-on-year growth. And our digital advertising revenues are growing at the same rate.
“By making this change, we’re acknowledging and reacting to how our readers behave. However, for readers who want a daily Gloucestershire print product, we will also be launching a Gloucestershire edition of The Western Daily Press.”
Sarah added: “The new weekly editions of the Echo and Citizen will be modern, busy and campaigning titles. They will be a comprehensive compendium of the week’s news with extra analysis, sport and lifestyle coverage.
“As part of the package, print readers will also get a new county-wide property guide and our popular GL magazine. The new editions will be good for advertisers, too, giving them a much-improved response and coverage of the county.”
The Echo will retain Tewkesbury and Forest editions, while The Citizen will add a new edition for Stroud in place of Stroud Life, which , it is understood, will cease publication.