Johnston Press has increased the cover price on at least six of its regional dailies – saying the move will allow it to invest in “quality, trusted news.”
The regional publisher has increased the price of both Blackpool daily The Gazette and Yorkshire Evening Post by five pence, while three pence rises have been introduced at Portsmouth daily The News, the Sunderland Echo and Sheffield daily The Star.
An increase of two pence has been made at the Edinburgh Evening News.
A company spokesman said the move will help pay for up to 60 new staff it is recruiting, although this figure also appeared to include journalists being recruited via the BBC-funded Local Democracy Reporter scheme.
A JP spokesman said: “We think very carefully before making any price change. It’s no secret that the cost of newsprint has gone up significantly this year, and price adjustments also help us to continue investing in quality, trusted news.
“This includes recruiting over 60 new employees, partly from the excellent BBC local democracy reporter scheme, but also 21 new digital editorial roles and 10 specialist digital sales staff, as well as an editorial apprenticeship scheme.”
The company has so far declined to say whether prices increases are being brought in at selected titles, or whether it is a group-wide policy.
The changes to the six titles mentioned are as follows:
- Edinburgh Evening News, 78p to 80p
- Sunderland Echo, 75p to 78p
- The Gazette, Blackpool, 80p to 85p
- The News, Portsmouth, 80p to 83p
- The Star, Sheffield, 75p to 78p
- Yorkshire Evening Post, 77p to 82p
In a trading update last week, JP revealed that overall circulation revenues rose 2pc during 2017, largely on the back of a strong performance by national daily the i.