Leeds & West Yorkshire

Last daily edition for two local newspapers

Two local newspapers have ended daily publishing to move over to a once-a-week edition.

The Halifax Evening Courier and the Scarborough Evening News will launch their new papers next week.

The papers' owners, Johnston Press, said the change was to "better meet the needs of readers and advertisers".

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said: "It's hugely depressing that papers of renown for more than a century have come to this situation."

The publisher said 14 jobs would be lost at the two titles, with one compulsory redundancy at the Scarborough Evening News.

'Alive and well'

The chief executive of Johnston Press, Ashley Highfield, described the company's new strategy as being "platform neutral", publishing seven days a week on the internet and on digital portable devices.

In a statement, the company said: "Our market research shows that fewer people are buying a daily paper every day.

"More people are buying it once or twice a week, or less.

"At the same time our website audiences are increasing significantly as consumers turn to mobile, iPads and tablet PCs to get the most recent news."

"We believe local print media is alive and well but audiences are changing the way they consume news and we are changing to meet those needs."

The NUJ claimed the job cuts had reduced the number of reporters in the two papers' newsrooms.

Chris Morley, the NUJ's Northern and Midlands organiser, said: "The real issue is whether the strategy from Johnston Press will work, and how much stress our members will face."

"I hope the plan will work, but only time will tell."

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