Archant changes publishing plans

ARCHANT Suffolk, publisher of the EADT, has announced changes to its newspaper publishing plans – developments which put the county’s two daily newspapers on track for ongoing success in 2012 and beyond.

The Evening Star will change from a six day-a-week newspaper to a Monday to Friday title, positioned for its Greater Ipswich and Felixstowe market place. It will be renamed the Ipswich Star, with an edition called the Felixstowe Star, reflecting properly its overnight publishing pattern and its geographic strongholds.

On Saturdays, an Ipswich edition of the EADT will be launched to provide an alternative read for regular Star readers.

On Thursdays, the paid-for Star will be supplemented by a 25,000 circulation free, home-delivered, edition distributed later in the day.

At the same time, a new free weekly title, the Stowmarket Mercury, will be launched catering exclusively for one of Suffolk’s fastest-growing market towns.

These changes will all take place in the week commencing Monday, January 23.

Archant Anglia managing director Johnny Hustler said: “Ipswich has found the going tough economically over the past few years. The requirements of our readers and advertisers are changing and we must adapt and innovate if we are to meet their needs in the future.

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“These proposals are designed to rebalance our activities and focus so that we satisfy our customers’ needs and grow our audience in the times ahead.

“Our strategy is for growth and these proposed changes are designed to help us in that.”

Nigel Pickover, editor of the Star, said: “The Star is a powerful and potent title, winning many fights for its readers and advertisers, and we look forward to continuing to serve our communities in Greater Ipswich and Felixstowe.”

Terry Hunt, editor of the EADT, said:” Our Saturday edition, already the best-selling of the week, will now be strengthened further and we hope many more readers will be able to enjoy its news, sports and feature platforms.

“In Stowmarket, our new weekly title, part of our Mercury family, will feature news, sport and events in one of Suffolk’s fastest-growing towns.”

The changes will result in a proposed reduction of 14 in the existing editorial team of 91, from photographic, the production team and feature writers. Newsdesk, sport, commercial and business writers are unaffected.