User login

Johnston Press Unveils New-look Paid-for Newspapers

Johnston Press publishes the first wave of its relaunched newspapers this week with 22 titles showcasing the new designs.

It is the first step in the company’s strategy to relaunch its 170 paid-for titles as more integrated digital and print hybrid offerings.

Johnston Press said it had used extensive research to determine five ‘clusters’ of titles, with each cluster representing a particular market, and Barcelona-based Cases i Associates was engaged to create designs to appeal to each. Further research into what consumers want to read has driven an overhaul of content to meet changing demands.

Each of the relaunches will be supported by a major marketing campaign including outdoor advertising, online media and local promotional activity. Two leading advertising agencies – Elvis Communications and McCann – have created and planned the campaign.

The first phase includes five regional daily titles moving to a weekly print format backed by 24/7 digital updates on their websites. They are the Peterborough Evening Telegraph, Northampton Chronicle & Echo, Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph, Scarborough Evening News and Halifax Courier.

Chief executive Ashley Highfield said: “For these five the internet will become the hourly and daily pulse of the community – all five will also have iPad apps - with a physical paper provided once a week for analysis, review and comment. We expect to see an overall increase in readership and profitability as a result.”

All of the relaunch newspapers will move to new ways of working that will see editorial content delivered in the most effective medium for each story, whether that be print, online, mobile or app, or a combination.

Improvements to the company’s portfolio of websites are expected throughout the year – aimed at encouraging even greater interaction with consumers and helping to monetise digital activity.

Other newspapers relaunching this week are the Northumberland Gazette, Harrogate Advertiser, Pateley Bridge & Nidderdale Herald, Knaresborough Post, Wetherby News, Ripon Gazette & Boroughbridge Herald, West Sussex County Times and Bucks Herald which all convert from broadsheet to compact format at the same time; the Mansfield Chad, Derbyshire Times, Eastwood Advertiser, Ilkeston Advertiser, Belper News and Ripley & Heanor News, and three free newspapers in the Northeast – the Washington Star, Peterlee Star and Seaham &Houghton Star – which will be relaunched as paid-for publications.

A rolling programme of relaunches will continue through the year.

Mr Highfield added: “My ambition is for all of our titles to be more relevant in this digital age, not less relevant, and the relaunches will put us on the right path to engaging even more productively with our audiences.”

The NS is the voice of Britain’s local media, the UK’s most trusted medium. It represents 1,100 newspapers, 1,700 websites and other print, digital and broadcast channels.