The Chronicle and Echo has been mostly silent on it's owners plans for the public executuion of our local daily newspaper since Johnston Press's announcement to move to "Platform Neutral Publishing", and so we still await the date for the final edition and still await details as to the wholly inadequate weekly supplement that will replace it.
I say supplement because in order to satisy the advertisers the Chron will now have to cram it's Property, Motors, Jobs, TV and Business supplements into one bumper addition, no wonder they say it will be over 100 pages thick, but how much news will be included?
Well obviously none, as telling us what happened from last Thursday onwards in a Wednesday edition will not be news at all, just a reminder of past news and in spite of the best efforts of the staff I just can't see it working. Take an easy subject like sport, do I really still want to read a match report on last Saturdays game on the Wednesday following? and what point is a review of next Saturdays game on the same Wednesday when the news on who may play and who will not won't be known until the Friday?
Over at the announcements section the deceased will be six foot under the ground before their passing and funeral arrangements are noted in the Chron, and we willall have to revert to sticking A4 black bordered notices to the local walls to let people know of the passing of loved ones.
All in all it will not be a newspaper and it is wrong for Johnston Press to pretend otherwise, but the true acid test of how long the new edition will last will be the number of people who actualy buy it, and that will depend of course on the cost.
With the two FREE papers running a day later on the Thursday (although expect the Mercury to be killed off) what is the upper limit people will be prepared to pay for old news?
Well I have heard, and the C&E can prove me wrong if they want, that they will be asking us to stump up a £1 for a copy. If true I would be interested to hear what peoples views are on that price and whether or not they will be prepared to pay it?
One thing though is less sure, given that I am told the nightly edition still washes its face as far as local advertizing income is concerned are Johnston Press Press confident that the same income is secure for inclusion in thier weekly edition and on a hidden file on a website?
Meanwhile the share price for JP shares, once at an all time of £5.50 on the London Stock Exchange has plummeted even further since this brave new world anouncement down from 6.8p to 5.5p.
I was criticized (nicely) for declaring in a comment on the Chron's website that I hoped the company went bust, I make no excuse for repeating the wish. In my view the future of our local paper and others would be better off in the hands of an administrator who could see the benefits of a local buy out or purchase of the business as a going concern rather than left in the hands of the people who have already asset stripped the company and will not be satisfied until they have repeated all of the mistakes that Heart FM made last year when changing a local profile business into a national fog of bland nothingness.
Here is the News, There is no Local News!
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