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Publisher acts in bid to save six titles facing ‘real possibility’ of closure

A regional publisher has increased the cover prices at six of its newspapers while also cutting terms for newsagents in a bid to save the titles from the “real possibility” of closure.

Newsquest has moved to save the Ayr Advertiser, Barrhead News, Border Telegraph, Clydebank Post, Dumbarton Reporter and Irvine Times after revealing their futures were under threat.

The publisher has increased the cover prices at the weeklies while concurrently cutting terms for retailers, but says newsagents “shouldn’t see much, if any, impact” due to all bar one of the affected titles selling only between 500 and 600 copies per week.

The moves have been made as part of a raft of cover price increases at Newsquest’s other Scottish titles, although margins will remain the same for newsagents selling them.

Clydebank Post

In a statement issued to The Federation of Independent Retailers, also known as The Fed, Newsquest said: “Unfortunately, we have been forced to review margins on six of our lowest-selling titles to ensure these continue publication.

“Just to give Fed members an idea of how these titles are performing and any potential impact on the trade – all but one of these titles are selling 500–600 copies per week collectively across our distribution areas, meaning we shouldn’t see much, if any, impact to retailers’ profits.

“Whilst we are never keen to cut terms on any title, these are true exceptions that we must address otherwise closure is a real possibility.

“As mentioned, we have maintained terms on all of our higher-selling daily titles as well as our larger weekly portfolio.”

The changes, which will take effect this week, will lead to a 20p increase at the Ayr Advertiser, which will go from £1.15 to £1.35, while the price will change from £1.10 to £1.30 at both the Dumbarton Reporter and Irvine Times.

Both the Border Telegraph and Clydebank Post will experience 10p increases from £1 to £1.10, with the cost of the Barrhead News changing from £1.10 to £1.20.

In Glasgow, the Monday to Friday editions of The Herald have gone up from £2 to £2.20 as of today, with its Saturday edition’s price moving from £2.40 to £2.60.

The Glasgow Times has had a 5p increase to 90p, while pro-Scottish independence daily The National is up 10p to £1.30.

The cover price of both The Herald on Sunday and The Sunday National will increase from £2.40 to £2.50 at the end of this week.

The price of the Greenock Telegraph, Newsquest’s other Scottish daily, has gone up from 75p to 80p.

The following increases will also take effect from this week at Newsquest’s other Scottish weeklies, where retailer terms will remain the same.

Largs & Millport News from £1.10 to £1.15

Alloa Advertiser from £1.10 to £1.20
Ardrossan Herald from £1.10 to £1.20
Central Fife Times from £1 to £1.10
Cumnock Chronicle from £1.10 to £1.20
Dunfermline Press from £1.25 to £1.35
East Lothian Courier from £1.20 to £1.30
Helensburgh Advertiser from £1.15 to £1.25
Musselburgh Courier from £1.20 to £1.30
Peeblesshire News from £1 to £1.10