EASY GO: Trinity Mirror, Britain’s largest publisher, has shuttered its daily The New Day newspaper after just nine weeks after circulation numbers and sales fell below expectations.
The last edition will be printed on May 6, and 25 employees will be let go as a result. The remaining staff is to be shifted to The Mirror newspaper.
The magazine-style newspaper launched in February was aimed at a middle-aged female audience. Its aim was to focus on “positive” content, and more than two million free copies were distributed at the time of the launch. The cost of the paper was 25 pence, or 36 cents, in the first two weeks. It later climbed to 50 pence, or 72 cents. The paper’s slogan was “Life is short, let’s live it well.”
New Day editor Alison Phillips has posted a message on the publication’s Facebook fan page: “We have tried everything we could, but sadly we just haven’t reached the sales figures we needed to make it work financially. The response over the 50 issues we have published has been extraordinary. I have never worked on a title with such engagement from readers. There clearly were many people who truly loved the idea of a different kind of newspaper, which spoke to them. But the reality was we didn’t have enough of them on a daily basis.”
She added: “To have not given this a go was to mean we were content to stand on the pavement and watch the decline of British national newspapers hurtle past us. But we weren’t. And we still aren’t. To take Samuel Beckett: ‘Ever tried. Ever Failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.’”
The title wanted to appeal to people who didn’t buy newspapers. Because of the early print deadline it was difficult to include breaking news and there was no accompanying news Web site. Writing in The Guardian newspaper, media commentator Roy Greenslade asked: “Did noone at the company stop to wonder at the unlikelihood of convincing a target audience composed of people who dislike newspapers to buy a newspaper?” Greenslade had in March reported that fewer than 90,000 copies were being sold per day.
New Day’s closure follows that of the Independent and the Independent on Sunday announced in February. The focus of those titles will now be digital.