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Reach to close 88-year-old title and launch new daily edition

SolihullNewsA weekly newspaper founded in 1930 is to cease publication at Christmas with a new daily edition due to be launched in its place.

The Solihull News, which began life 88 years ago as the Warwickshire News, will publish its final edition on 21 December.

From 2 January, it will be replaced with a new Solihull edition of the daily Birmingham Mail which will feature up to four pages of news from the borough from Monday to Saturday.

Reach has confimed that no jobs are to be lost as a result of the News’s closure.

The title was first founded in 1930 as the Warwickshire News and had a free distribution of 44,786 as of its most recently published ABC figures in February 2018.

But in a statement announcing its closure, the company called into question the future of the free door-to-door distribution model.

“A continued decline in local print advertising, particularly in the key property platform, means that the free distribution door-to-door model is no longer sustainable,” it said.

It said the new Solihull Mail will feature up to four pages of borough news, views, features and sport each day, in addition to extensive online coverage on BirminghamLive and community news platform InYourArea.

According to Reach, BirminghamLive and its sister online titles have a monthly audience in Solihull of more than 194,000 – more than three times the circulation of the News.

Midlands editor-in-chief Marc Reeves said: “Clearly closing the Solihull News isn’t a decision we’ve taken lightly, but with such a strong stable of print and online titles that are already immensely popular across the borough, we know we can continue to serve readers and advertisers with the best local news and exciting new ways to reach customers.”

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  • November 28, 2018 at 10:04 am
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    I had good fun working on that title during my peripatetic sub days, good coverage of Birmingham’s third team, among others. I’m sad to see it go, but it was probably never the same after the forced move to Fort Funlop.

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  • November 28, 2018 at 10:53 am
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    So how many of the Solihull readers currently served by the distribution of 45,000 copies of the Solihull News are going to give up a dedicated local paper for “up to” 4 pages of local news in the Birmingham Mail? Methinks not many. Just another cost-cutting move to get rid of print titles in favour of the online dream

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  • November 28, 2018 at 12:18 pm
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    As with all other examples of weekly titles being absorbed into dailies, the 4 change pages will last 6 months at best before being dropped completely.

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  • November 28, 2018 at 1:53 pm
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    @TrinityMan is correct
    Localised slip pages,which are a token gesture as they cannot realistically cover the hyper local news,usually heralds the end of that areas coverage,often within a year max. depending on how much or how little ad revenue is sold on them.
    In my experience it’s a step along the road to complete withdrawal from a community.

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  • November 29, 2018 at 9:53 am
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    TrinityMan is correct. The Birmingham Mail also publishes a so-called Black Country edition of the paper which carries no discernable Black Country news (and I speak as a resident of one of the boroughs covered).
    Mind you, the Birmingham Mail has an appallingly low story count that makes it extremely poor value for money anyway so I confidently predict no-one in Solihull will be putting their hands in their pockets for this.

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  • November 29, 2018 at 4:00 pm
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    At least we still have the Solihull Observer. Always thought the Observer was a far superior paper in Solihull anyway. The News lost it’s way a long time ago and who are they trying to kid? Those 4 pages will be dropped within a year.

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  • November 30, 2018 at 2:15 pm
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    I’m afraid the facts speak for themselves, people don’t want a free newspaper shoved through their door, certainly not one with barely any news in it anyway, the model has long been dead.

    Come on it’s not the 1980’s.

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