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Evening sport and breaking news affected in plan to move dailies’ print deadlines

Six regional dailies are set to introduce earlier deadlines – meaning they will no longer be able to cover late breaking news or evening sports matches in print.

JPIMedia has announced the proposed new deadlines at its daily titles in the North-East and North-West of England – the Hartlepool Mail, Shields Gazette, Sunderland Echo, Lancashire Post, Wigan Post and Blackpool daily The Gazette.

At present the six newspapers have last copy times of between 1am and 2am, but the new deadlines would be as early as 7.15pm in the cases of the Hartlepool Mail and the Wigan Post.

For Monday to Friday editions the Blackpool Gazette and Shields Gazette’s final deadlines would move to 7.45pm, the Sunderland Echo’s to 8.15pm, while the Lancashire Post’s would switch to 9pm.

Sun new

For Saturday editions, the Lancashire Post’s and the Echo’s last copy time would be 8pm on Friday evening.  The deadlines for the other titles would remain the same as their weekday editions.

The changes also affect weekly titles the Garstang Courier and Longridge News, whose deadline would move from midnight on Wednesday to 5pm on Tuesday, while the Fleetwood Weekly News would also move from the same time to 4.30pm on Tuesday.

Explaining the decision, a JPIMedia spokesman told HTFP: “JPIMedia is continually assessing opportunities to efficiently structure the distribution network of our titles. Our daily and weekly newspaper titles in the North-West, along with the daily titles in the North-East, are currently distributed direct to our retailers.

“The rest of the newspaper distribution in JPI Media is handled by the wholesaler network and we would like to bring the NW and NE in line with the rest of the company.

“We appreciate this decision will bring forward the print deadlines of these titles and impact our coverage of live, midweek sport. Sports fans will continue to have access to our continuously improving match reports and analysis via our digital platforms.

“We are committed to ensuring we can provide the best coverage of our teams online and in print and are investing in re-platforming our websites and apps in order to significantly improve our readers’ user experience.”

The announcement comes after JPIMedia last month revealed it was set to trial a newsroom restructure in the North-East which will see journalists move away from the print production process and concentrate on digital work.


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  • May 28, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Reducing chances of including relevant news in a daily paper is hardly the way forward to slowing the exodus of print readers and advertisers, but as long as everything is more efficient and cost savings are made, that’s fine.

    Papers owned by JPI, Reach and Newsquest (others are available) are turning into businesses where every aspect of the production process – from newsgathering to publishing – is more important than the customers, and they wonder why they’re constantly pushing water uphill?

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  • May 28, 2019 at 9:45 am

    I despair, soccer fans in strong footballing areas such as Sunderland, Preston and Blackpool will no longer get midweek match reports in the following day’s evening paper. This is just stupid and will stop soccer fans from buying the paper. Surely they can move the deadline on match nights.

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  • May 28, 2019 at 10:40 am

    A case of the tail wagging the dog to the benefit of the publisher, not the end user, this will give yet more reasons for people to turn away from the print editions and seek the up to date news on line

    ….but maybe that’s the objective

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  • May 28, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Whenever I see mention of JPI. the words “p*ss up and “brewery” immediately spring to mind.

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  • May 28, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Even by the standards of the big groups’ behaviour this is utter lunacy. The likes of the Sunderland Echo might as well not bother with sport the night after a midweek game in future. What’s the morning splash going to be – “Jack Ross went into last night’s game with Fleetwood hoping for a resounding win” or something just as pointless that might as well be bylined Phil Space? It simply won’t sell.
    I notice this plan was hatched soon after Sunderland had a midweek play-off second leg at Portsmouth – pictured above – which presumably must have been more than a reasonable seller. It will be embarrassing in future if the likes of Sunderland can be covered in midweek by the nationals rather than the local title, which will still be claiming it’s the club’s number one supporter.
    Apart from readers I feel most sorry for the sports staff involved, who presumably had no say whatsoever in this idiotic development.

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  • May 28, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    This is not progress.
    This is not shaping a paper for the challenges of a changing media world.
    This is vandalism of Sunderland’s paper of record which will struggle to claim it is a paper of record any longer.

    It is shameful and it will have a huge impact on the public’s perception of the paper when it begins to take effect.
    Sunderland Echo readers will be staggered and disgusted when they go to their paper shop the day after an important game to find no mention of it in their local paper.
    For many, the Echo’s football coverage is the reason why they bought the paper in the first place and stayed so loyal to it throughout.

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  • May 28, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    It’s happening all over, more and more cuts and tampering while the copy sales figures continue to plummet and previously loyal buyers/readers turn their backs, this will turn even more people away.
    Forget the changing ways people access their news and the availability of free online content,the vast majority of the industry’s problems are self inflicted
    it’s as if they have a self destruct button

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  • May 29, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    I suspect you’ll find they never see a sales spike from midweek matches anyway, or indeed any matches. With the wealth of material available online about every club, why buy the paper? I’m sure no-one involved in this decision is happy about it, but they wouldn’t be doing this if they felt it would hurt sales.

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  • June 3, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    It is drastic but it is a fact that football fans are no longer rushing out to buy their local paper to read about a match. It has already been thrashed to death online and social media. With some papers losing 80 per cent or more of their peak sales not even sport, once a huge seller, is saving sales. It doesn’t stop papers filling holes with oceans of football, but I do wonder who is reading it nowadays.

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