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End of the road for Liverpool Post

Christmas shock as paper folds after 158 years

Written by . Published on December 10th 2013.


End of the road for Liverpool Post
 

 The Liverpool Post newspaper is to close down next week after 158 years publication.

Its website will cease operation on the same date, December 19. 

Owned by Trinity Mirror, the paper, based in Old Hall Street, went from daily to weekly in January 2012, and many observers felt then that the writing was on the wall.

Nevertheless, today's announcement has come as a shock to many.

'Heaviest of hearts'

Trinity blamed the digital era for the paper's decline in circulation and advertising revenue:  “The Post is a wonderful and much-loved old lady who has simply come to the end of her natural life," said North West Managing Director Steve Anderson Dixon.

“This is a decision we take with the heaviest of hearts. Sadly, the Liverpool city region no longer generates the demand in terms of advertising or circulation, to sustain both the Post and the Liverpool Echo.

Post Editor Mark Thomas said: “It has been a privilege and an honour to edit this great newspaper and having to share this news with its readers is without doubt the saddest moment of my professional career.

“On behalf of the team I would like to thank all our loyal readers for their support and encouragement over the years, and I hope they understand how difficult this decision has been for all of us.”
 
The statement addded: "No journalist jobs are being lost as a result of the closure," and  it is perhaps that last comment that says it all.
Many journalists feel the Post has suffered from a lack of journalistic resources.
 
As a weekly, it could have had the capacity to continue as Merseyside’s paper of record.

At one time, perhaps its heyday, it was a robust rival to its Old Hall Street sister, the Echo, with journalists on each paper bidding to scoop one other while sitting at opposite desks.
 
For whatever reason, the weekly format just never caught the imagination of readers, and the decline continued.

Poll

Some people believed the Post was an anti-dote to the Echo which highlights Merseyside’s world of crime, gun battles and the seedier side of life in the city region.
 
Just weeks ago the business lobbying group Downtown Liverpool in Business conducted a poll among its members asking whether they believed news coverage in the Echo harmed the city. The response was a resounding yes.
 
I spent most of my working life at the Liverpool Echo and the Liverpool Daily Post, writing for both papers with their distinctive styles.
 
Just as the switch to new technology brought the curtain down on hot metal newspapers in the early 1990s, it seems the age of electronic media has been a death rattle for many fine newspapers.
 
The big problem is this: who will watch the decision makers with the closure and demise of local newspapers?

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30 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Staggered Old Hall StreeterDecember 10th 2013.

Very sad day. There was no need for this. Just lack of imagination and the wrong people making decisions, all of whom seem to lead charmed lives...

Tracy TwitchinDecember 10th 2013.

What a shame. End of an era.

John ShawDecember 10th 2013.

Big question Larry, big problem. Set the ball rolling, tell us what you think. The local powers to be, appear to have the local press in their back pocket. Give us an insiders perspective, the pen used to be mightier than the sword before Murdoch and Maxwell came along, sally forth with quill in hand.

AnonymousDecember 10th 2013.

How amazing that advertising revenues dropped when it went from six days a week to one day a week What did they expect? Exactly this. Managed closure by the Owners

1 Response: Reply To This...
Darren ForsterDecember 10th 2013.

Advertising revenues have also dropped in papers because businesses no longer want to be hounded into signing 12 month contracts without first seeing the results. I've tried numerous times to advertise with our local paper in Shropshire, and you can advertise online if your a private advertiser, but businesses have to phone up to advertise - the reason is so you can be put through to some sales rep who wont accept the advert off you unless you sign up to a 12 month contract, with the fake promises that your phone will be ringing off the hook if you advertise with us - and when it doesn't appear your stuck in a 12 month contract spending a fortune on advertising that isn't working

Barry TurnbullDecember 10th 2013.

When Trinity Mirror unleashed its terrifying wave of redundancies in the name of restructuring a few years ago, I wasn’t personally affected. However I actually asked to leave the Daily Post for a number of reasons, some personal, but also the fact the brand was a dead man walking. My experience perfectly illustrates where it went wrong. I had been running the business magazines division and was reporting, not to the editor of the Daily Post but to a senior advertising executive. It may sound unappealing but it was actually a blessed release – I could do things my way, largely without interference. Vision magazine became very successful, pulling in significant revenue and not least because I worked closely with sales people and offered those giving us money free editorial items as a bonus. This was very much against the grain of newspaper culture where journalists and sales people were often at loggerheads. So, along comes another internal shake-up and I found myself back in Daily Post editorial reporting to the business editor. I knew then I wouldn’t hack it. Vision was loud, bright with lots of soundbites and gave advertisers a good deal. Post business editor Bill Gleeson and editor Mark Thomas are of the old school and turned the magazine into something altogether more dowdy and mainstream. Later it was downgraded from a glossy mag to a hideous giant newsprint caricature of a magazine. At a time when people were demanding instant news in a new format, we were writing massive articles comprising thousands of words. It went completely against the market and was in fact insanity. A successful product was utterly undermined by thinking from a previous age. When the chance came to get out, I jumped. Don’t buy this end-of-an-era yarn they are trying to spin. More than 150 years has gone down the tube thanks to a top heavy corporate culture and leadership lacking entrepreneurial flair.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 11th 2013.

As a reader I find editorial content that is in fact a sweetner for advertising misleading and unhelpfull.

Paul WardDecember 10th 2013.

Another Trinity Mirror failure.

AnonymousDecember 10th 2013.

The surviving traditional big-city morning newspapers in the provinces have all got big rural hinterlands. The Yorkshire Post, Newcastle Journal, Eastern Daily Press and the rest are all produced in major populations centres, but they owe their survival very much to their country readers. The economics of printed newspaper distribution have kept them alive for many years: thinly-populated areas just cannot support evening papers that need to be sold the moment they leave the presses, while mornings have the luxury of several hours between printing around midnight and going on sale at breakfast time. One of the first nails in the Liverpool Daily Post's coffin was to split off the Welsh edition, circulating right across North Wales, into a separate publication which continues to this day. It was a sound commercial and editorial decision. The Welsh tail had been wagging the Liverpool dog for some time, and the readership profiles in Liverpool and North Wales had become so different that it was increasing difficult to resolve their differing interests into one unified publication. But when it came to finding a new role for the Liverpool paper, the decision was made to target sales almost exclusively on private-sector decision makers. Hello? In a city where more than most the public sector drives the economy? Need I say more? Throw into the mix an almost total absence of dedicated editorial resources, a weak, don't-rock-the-boat leadership, and the end was inevitable. And that was without the double whammy of internet-based advertising and special-interest websites to tempt people elsewhere. Many former Daily Post readers will be surprised that it staggered on this long, to be honest.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Bring Back The Broadsheet EchoDecember 11th 2013.

Is that why the Daily Post had so many pictures of red-faced men in suits with their leggy, orange secretaries? www.liverpoolconfidential.co.uk/…/VIPs-out-in-force-for-red-carpet-larks…

Curly WeeDecember 11th 2013.

Those comments are hilarious.

efcmark777December 10th 2013.

When the Post went weekly I thought it was a rubbish decision but the loved the new format, there was more space for quality writing. A bit of depth and not just tabloid sound byte nonsense. Contrary to earlier comments here many readers are intelligent enough to cope with their news and analysis in more than 140 characters. We can read in printed form or ONKINE but we enjoy reading, not scanning lurid headlines. The Echo may survive but its more Daily Star every day. What a huge shame to lose the weekly Post, it is a loss to the region and will further damage our business reputation as frankly the rush to mediocrity seems to be gathering pace.

Amos NonymousDecember 10th 2013.

Next weeks headline "The Last Post", or alternatively, "The Laz word on the late Post"

Stephanie LengDecember 10th 2013.

I agree with the above and disagree with Barry Turnbull who seems to suggest we are all pulled in by the latest brightest glitziest as long as it does not take much reading. And is he blowing his horn a bit? There are two 'issues' here. One, the advertisers who always have to be on the edge of the latest superficialities, and two the reader. You cannot take a paper like the post and turn it into one of the freebees you find lying around the train seats. Anyone will look at these out of boredom on their journey. They are a clever idea too. All the articles are lifted from somewhere else so NO JOURNALIST HAS LOST HIS OR HER JOB. Advertisers think they know what the readers who pay will be pulled to. And that is where they are right and wrong. People who are pulled in by advertising do not read. Much. They like glitz. People who read the post in the past, well, they read. Real readers are not pulled in by advertising anymore. They are much too savoy and wise to advertising and its tricks. Is it any wonder children are targeted? The post is the past. It could never be the future. It would have to be re-named, re-branded, and re-built from the bottom up. Everything has its final day, and everything changes. When The Post went weekly it was clearly because it was not making money as it was. They gave the sinking titanic a go, well done. Eventually a niche will be created for those who do read, and a way to gain some revenue from it. That is my rant

1 Response: Reply To This...
Amos NonymousDecember 11th 2013.

"Savoy" Dear Lady. Are you inferring that we are cabbages.

Prof Y ChucklebuttyDecember 10th 2013.

So, all the predictions, once production shifted to Oldham, were correct. When the Echo stopped being an evening newspaper and was turned into yesterdays news, being shipped up the M62 first thing in the morning, the death of the Daily Post was inevitable and planned. Despite the so-called "Heavy hearts" It was a decision waiting to be taken by the Trinity Mirror Group. Now we are just left with Trinity Mirror's downmarket tabloid with a daily round-up of Z- list Celebs, Drugs, shootings, Curtis Warren, Purple Aki, the Beatles and if we are really lucky a 16 page pull out Bonnie babies! For This IS Liverpool as Trinity Mirror's Echo likes to present it to the world. As if riddled with Drugs, Crime and shootings and the odd gangsters fighting amongst themselves, splashed on almost every front-page headline. Despite this being one of the safest cities in the UK. What an image they present to the outsider, and yet the first to create the whinging stereotype if somebody somewhere dares even suggest that Liverpool is anything less than the epicentre of the big bang from which the entire universe was created when a pressure cooker full of Scouse exploded. Good luck to any staff affected. I am sure you did your best faced with being slowly strangled.

Col MinchesDecember 10th 2013.

“This is a decision we take with the heaviest of hearts. Sadly, the Liverpool city region no longer generates the demand in terms of advertising or circulation, to sustain both the Post and the Liverpool Echo." . . . . . Then why don't they close down the Echo instead? It's no longer fit for the nail in the lavatory wall.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 10th 2013.

Very good point.

Col MinchesDecember 11th 2013.

The Greater Liverpool area no longer has a local paper for people who can read witout moving their lips.

Amos NonymousDecember 11th 2013.

You dropped an "H" when you were in the Dunny.

Col MinchesDecember 11th 2013.

I wondered why it hurt so much.

AnonymousDecember 11th 2013.

That's what happens when you don't move your lips.

HenryDecember 11th 2013.

The prof is right. A recent survey of business people in Liverpool found the majority felt the Echos obsession with crime reporting badly harms the image of the city. So the parent company Trinity Mirror decides to close the business and culture publication in favour of a tatty, grubby tabloid which reports nothing but the life of scum in this city. Shameful and just demonstrates continual dumbing down. As for saving jobs what a joke. Respected journalists told to write tat or get lost.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 11th 2013.

It's not just this city, every edition I buy tells me of murders and drugs on the Wirral Peninsula.

Bring Back The Broadsheet EchoDecember 11th 2013.

What can you expect when they only report on their 'celebrity' mates?

Thomas BrownDecember 11th 2013.

Trinity mirror are muppets that have made our local papers a laughing stock.liverpool echo does not belong in oldham.pathetic sick joke ......

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 12th 2013.

Last nights Echo published a photograph that was allegedly St Georges Hall. I'm still trying to figure out whether it is the Met quarter, St Georges Hall it is definitely not.

Bazza TurnbullDecember 11th 2013.

Dear Stephanie, I cited my own experience at the Daily post as an illustration of behind-the-times thinking. The DP is a respected regional business brand; it is not the brand's fault nor the consumers that the custodians of that brand could not make it generate revenue. Here's another example. In recent times the Daily Post business app for mobile phones has appeared. Some people. somewhere, sat around a table discussing this and the talk turned to whether it should be free or paid for. One bright spark suggested it be paid for and another thought, hey, why not charge £9.99 a month? Ludicrous and I would be surprised if anyone at all subscribed. Here are the reviews: “SCUMBAGS. Advertised as free on Facebook and it’s not. May as well call yourselves The Sun.” Or how about: “Deceptive at best so uninstalling.” There were no positive reviews. Now a brighter organisation than Trinity Mirror may see a gap in the market for a business/arts product. Let’s hope so, otherwise the daily diet of tripe and despair that is the Echo will be the most significant ambassador for Liverpool. Scary.

AnonymousFebruary 17th 2014.

Still miss the Post especially David Charters way with words.

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