JPIMedia has announced that six of its daily titles in the North-East and North-West are set to introduce earlier deadlines, meaning they will not be able to cover late breaking news or evening sports matches in print.
The Hartlepool Mail, Wigan Post, Shields Gazette, Sunderland Echo, Lancashire Post and Blackpool’s The Gazette currently have last copy times of between 1am and 2am, but the new deadlines would be as early as 7.15pm.
From Monday to Friday, the Blackpool Gazette and Shields Gazette’s final deadlines would move to 7.45pm, the Sunderland Echo’s to 8.15pm, and the Lancashire Post’s to 9pm.
For Saturday editions, the Lancashire Post’s and the Echo’s last copy time would be 8pm on Friday evening, while the deadlines for the other titles would remain the same as their weekday editions.
The changes also affect weekly titles the Garstang Courier and Longridge News, whose deadline would move from midnight on Wednesday to 5pm on Tuesday, while the Fleetwood Weekly News would also move from the same time to 4.30pm on Tuesday.
A JPIMedia spokesman told Hold The Front Page: “JPIMedia is continually assessing opportunities to efficiently structure the distribution network of our titles. Our daily and weekly newspaper titles in the North-West, along with the daily titles in the North-East, are currently distributed direct to our retailers.
“The rest of the newspaper distribution in JPI Media is handled by the wholesaler network and we would like to bring the NW and NE in line with the rest of the company.
“We appreciate this decision will bring forward the print deadlines of these titles and impact our coverage of live, midweek sport. Sports fans will continue to have access to our continuously improving match reports and analysis via our digital platforms.
“We are committed to ensuring we can provide the best coverage of our teams online and in print and are investing in re-platforming our websites and apps in order to significantly improve our readers’ user experience.”