THE Herald Express is to become a weekly title next month in a change that will see the newspaper become one of the biggest weekly publications in the UK.
The new paper will appear each Thursday from July 21.
Herald Express editor Andy Phelan said: “The Herald Express has been one of the country’s best-performing daily titles for many years in terms of its circulation figures. Our readers and advertisers have been tremendously loyal and we value them highly.
“But the world today is very different to how it was in 1925, when the Herald Express was established. People’s lives have changed, we have to change with them.
“The Herald Express has evolved over the years and this is another step on that journey.
“By moving to weekly publishing we believe we will be moving more closely in line with the needs of our readers and advertisers.
“We also believe that in a changing market environment, this is the best way to secure the long-term future of a strong, independent news organisation serving Torbay and South Devon.”
The aim is to produce an industry-leading 100-plus page paper that will deliver stories, photographs, comment and analysis from across the area, as well as jobs, homes, cars and classified advertising.
Andrew Blair, managing director, said: “This is a significant change for the business and a major step forward for advertisers in South Devon.
“They will experience an immediate benefit as we anticipate a single issue of the weekly to reach a much wider market than any single edition of the daily.”
The decision has been announced to staff. A number of jobs are likely to be affected in the editorial department as a result of the move, but the Herald Express management team has pledged to do everything it can to limit the number of compulsory redundancies.
Mr Phelan said: “The Herald Express has been a successful title because of the quality of its staff, and the loyalty of its readers and advertisers, over many years.
“Six-day publishing served all parties well for the best part of a century, but now we have to adapt to the realities of the market and look to the future.
“This change means the Herald Express can go forward with confidence, and we can remain fully committed to our role of informing, educating and entertaining the people of this area and helping businesses grow.
“The Herald Express team will continue to provide unrivalled local news coverage. We will still have far more dedicated journalists on the ground across Torbay and South Devon than any other media organisation.”
It is expected that the final daily edition of the Herald Express will appear on Friday July 15, with the first weekly edition, which will remain on sale throughout the week, hitting the streets the following Thursday, July 21.
Mr Phelan said: “As well as our new weekly print edition of the Herald Express, we will continue to keep our readers informed throughout the week via Twitter, Facebook and the www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk website, where the Herald Express will have a news channel.
“It is our intention to use every medium possible to make sure our readers and advertisers do not miss out, and the cornerstone of it all will be a new product which we believe will set the benchmark for the whole of the newspaper industry.”