UK

New Day closure: Why do readers think it closed?

New Day Image copyright PA

After launching with the slogan "Life is short, let's live it well", the New Day is set to close after just nine weeks.

Low sales figures were blamed for its demise but both the publisher and the editor said readers had really engaged with the paper and it had built a strong following on Facebook. Within two hours of the announcement, hundreds of people had left comments on editor Alison Phillips's goodbye post.

Here readers and commentators describe why they think the paper failed to keep up on the news stands.


Content

When the paper launched in February it promised an "optimistic approach" to news that would be politically neutral and was aimed at "time-poor" readers who no longer buy a paper.

Many women reacted on Facebook saying the content had really appealed to them.

Sharon said: "I enjoyed reading it. Unbiased, unpolitical. Thank you for showing us a better read", while Kara wrote: "Really disappointed. Others newspapers just don't work for me and I really enjoyed the new day! Such a shame!"

John added: "Conjured something innovative and daring. You were conjuring something quite different from the start. Valiant effort from some sterling writers."

Image copyright the New Day
Image caption The newspaper aimed to attract more female readers

Others were more critical, saying that the content was not what they were looking for.

Beth wrote on Facebook: "The whole concept of it (news in a fast and simpler format) is exactly the same as the i, which is well established and still only 40p a copy - most people will go for that."

Steve Hewlett, presenter of the BBC Radio Four Media show, said the paper "didn't create any traction" and "found no market". "It had all the hallmarks of something that was designed by research, without a beating heart, if you like."


Print v online

At a time when many newspapers are struggling against a tide of free newspapers and online content, many thought the New Day started out facing an uphill battle.

John McGrath wrote: "I understand the principle of what you set out to achieve, but I can't say I'm surprised! In this digital age, I was more shocked that there would be an actual new newspaper. I just think, why buy a newspaper when you get the news on your phone for free?"

Phil added on the BBC website: "Only read the local freebees that endless(ly) fall on my doormat - three or four pages of local issues. Not read a national daily or weekend paper for 25 years - am I missing anything that is not on the TV, radio or www?.. they are all just a waste of resources in the digital age."

Meanwhile, Andy wrote on Facebook: "Hard copy circulation figures are haemorrhaging all over the country. You have to ask who and why was it decided to launch this product in the first place. Surely an e-edition with dramatically lower overheads would have made better business sense. The investment wasted on print could have been better spent on acute marketing."

But Kerry adds: "I'm sick of reading all the comments about everyone reading news online. Some of us don't have access to internet or can't afford it. I like to hold and read a newspaper in my hand... I will be sad to see it go."


Price

The cost of the newspaper was a factor for some. After a free launch issue the price rose to 25p and then to 50p two weeks later.

Image copyright Alamy

Alan Johnson wrote on Facebook: "Had a cost advantage when it was 25p, but when it became 50p, a similar price to other papers, was off putting, as seemed to be thin for 50p compared to rivals."

Another BBC News reader said: "New Day would obviously fit into the quick grab, quick scan, then chuck away on your way to work city environment. OK for London but not much anywhere else."


Not given enough time

Many readers were shocked the newspaper was not given a longer time to get going.

Mark Harris wrote: "50 issues? Have you given it enough time?" while reader Rainie Daze added: "Surely you'd need to give it say six months to get known before you can judge how many copies can be sold?

"Most people I know still haven't heard of it and I live in a rural area where quite often I haven't been able to buy it when I wanted as some shops didn't stock it or only had a few copies that had ran out before I got there."

Johnny Fox commented: "It's extraordinary that the budget for a launch period wasn't six months and it's been cancelled in two. Even if they learned quickly that 'positive thinking' doesn't sell papers, there should have been time to try alternative editorial strategies if they really were launching a brand new national daily."

But Amol Rajan, editor-at-large at the Independent, said it was the right time to close. "If it's not working, it's better to pull out quickly rather than lingering on."


Risky business model

Editor Alison Phillips has commended the New Day team "for having the guts to take a chance and to try something new when they knew there were few guarantees of success".

Its closure also follows on from the Independent and Independent on Sunday ending their print editions.

Peter on Twitter commented: "New Day newspaper was aimed at people who didn't buy papers. It's closing. I think I can spot the flaw in their business plan!"

Media commentator Roy Greenslade agreed it was a bad business idea from Trinity Mirror.

Image copyright Twitter

"Did no-one at the company stop to wonder at the unlikelihood of convincing a target audience composed of people who dislike newspapers to buy a newspaper?" he wrote in the Guardian.

"If the publisher was to have any hope of winning them over then the obvious requirement was massive publicity over a prolonged period."

In its trading update Trinity Mirror said: "Although the New Day has received many supportive reviews and built a strong following on Facebook, the circulation for the title is below our expectations.

"Whilst disappointing, the launch and subsequent closure have provided new insights into enhancing our newspapers and a number of these opportunities will be considered over time."


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