Rather than reflecting the different newspaper brands which originated the sites, TheJournal.co.uk will be now rolled into ChronicleLive to create one regional news, sport, business and entertainment platform.
Audience growth has continued to grow since the launch of news group’s Newsroom 3.1 model in the Newcastle newsroom last April. ChronicleLive became the fourth biggest regional news website in England and the second fastest growing in the UK in the second half of last year.
The company said the website reached 3m users and generated 23 million page views last month – around 25 times more than TheJournal.co.uk.
Editor-in-chief for TM North East, Darren Thwaites, said: “The time has come to add the weight of both our daily newspaper brands to the massive scale and strength of ChronicleLive.
“It means we can accelerate our position as the North East’s leading regional news, sport and entertainment provider, covering more subjects across a wider geography.
“We’ll no longer be competing against ourselves. Instead, we’ll be bringing the biggest possible audience to all our stories using the massive search and social strength of a single supersite.”
The website will now cover a patch from the Scottish border to Teesside, through Northumberland, Tyneside, Sunderland and Durham. It will also include a business channel for the first time, powered by the highly-respected Journal business team .
TheJournal.co.uk will continue to exist as an archive site but from Monday, users will be redirected to ChronicleLive.
The website merger does not affect the centre’s print publishing strategy and both The Chronicle and The Journal newspapers will continue to be published six days a week. The Journal will also upgrade its current paid-for e-edition app.
Last month, just 3 months after announcing £10m in cuts, TM revealed it was doubling them to £20m due to falling print revenues.