It seems the Liverpool Echo is to become primarily a morning paper – a move that puts it into apparent competition with the Daily Post.
The Echo will still retain an on-day edition, but the first will be printed overnight.
Reading between the lines, the change in deadlines is to accommodate a switch from printing in Liverpool to Oldham, at least one hour’s drive away.
The consensus – right or wrong – in Liverpool’s media community is that The Post is on its way out, with sales down to under 10K according to various reports I’ve heard.
Given the difficulty regional newspapers are experiencing, and recent moves by Trinity Mirror to axe several Midlands titles, the writing would appear to be on the wall for Liverpool’s second daily.
But in moving the newspapers into almost direct competition with one another, Trinity Mirror seems to be delaying that move – but is it simply delaying the inevitable?
The NUJ’s response is not encouraging – it has described the move as ‘ripping the heart out of the Post and Echo’ and vowed to fight the move. The chapel is meeting this week to discuss a response.
Journalists at the Echo will move to an overnight deadline and a later edition, meaning journalists will be unable to react to overnight events for the first edition – one of the key advantages the Echo has over nationals and rubbish like Metro.
Journalists at the Echo are not pleased, but Trinity Mirror says there will be no job losses.
Sadly that’s not the case for the printers at Liverpool – a hundred will lose their jobs when printing shifts to Oldham at the start of August.
It’s a tragedy for the workers involved, and it’s also the end of 155 years of printing at Liverpool.
It’s also, coincidentally, where the first editions of Liverpool Student Newspaper were published ten years ago – eventually.
The first two dummy editions came back totally whited out, and barely legible. We went to speak to the printers to sort it out in the end.
I was impressed with the noise, size and grime of the operation – far bigger than the Hartlepool Mail’s printing presses I’d previously seen. They’re also gone these days. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a shame.