THE Bridport News and the Lyme Regis News will appear in future on Wednesdays.
The move is announced on the papers’ website but not (that I can see) in the papers themselves.
The shift means the two Newsquest publications will come out on the same morning as the free newspapers View From Bridport, View From Beaminster and View From Lyme Regis.
“The Bridport News and Lyme Regis News moving to Wednesday is purely for operational reasons relating to available press slots,” says Toby Granville, editor of the Dorset Echo, who also oversees the two weeklies.
Myself, I think there are three things worth remarking on.
One: when the News did first move from Friday to Thursday that was done to compete more directly with View From titles and the Western Gazette (which comes out on Thursdays). Yet I know people who still dislike that shift intensely and refuse, as a matter of principle, to buy the News on a Thursday, because they believe it should still come out on a Friday. That’s a powerful testament to the strength of the connection that the News had with people, and to the force of habit. It’s Friday: it’s Bridport / Lyme Regis News day. Friday was a crucial part of the papers’ brand identity. Changing to a Thursday affected that, but perhaps moving to a Wednesday will not, particularly, because the first move was the one that showed the brand could be tampered with. Like ITV’s News at Ten; there are people who have never seen that in quite the same way since ITV began moving it around…
Two: it will interesting to see what effect it has, three editions of the View From and two editions of the News coming out on the same day, midweek. All sorts of permutations are possible. Good for the View because people might choose to pick up a free paper rather than pay for one that is now covering exactly the same last week? Good for the News because it’s got more pages at the moment than it’s had for years and people might think that a paid-for publication is always going to be superior to a free? Or good for them both because, if you’re in the shop, why not get them both? Neither is going to want to have exactly the same content as the other so they should (in theory) both get better and more various.
Three: and what of the 60p Western Gazette, which fewer people in West Dorset seem to care about these days, despite the best efforts of its local reporter Danielle Hoffman? (It was noticeable, for example, that she turned up for the recent South West Quadrant appeal hearing whereas no one from the News was seen – a situation that people commented upon.) Alas for the Western Gazette, it won’t have much of an “exclusive news day” to itself on Wednesdays because the deadline for its West Dorset edition is late on Tuesday. Oh well.
View From Publications are now planning something for Fridays called the View Online Dorset Weekender – “a brand new weekly paper you’ll only be able to read online!”