You may have seen yesterday that there are some pretty big changes ahead for The Mirror. The current editors of the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror (Richard Wallace and Tina Weaver) have been fired and will be replaced by the former editor of The People, Lloyd Embley, who will oversee The Mirror titles as a seven day publishing operation.
It sounds like no-one was more surprised by this move than Richard Wallace, who is said to have sent an email around staff saying “after 22 years on the world’s greatest paper it is time to move on – if rather unexpectedly.”
The move comes as part of wider cuts across the whole Trinity Mirror group, which have already seen up to 75 people made redundant.
The move to a seven day operation comes as little surprise really, especially after Rupert Murdoch moved The Sun to do the same and The Sun on Sunday was outselling its Trinity Mirror competitors.
But it’s not the first merger in newspapers. This seems to be a favoured way to make job cuts and save money in the industry at the moment.
November 2011 saw the Independent and Evening Standard announce a merger of their sports and business desks, which resulted in 20 jobs being lost. But, as was hoped when the announcement was made, there has been no harm done to the quality of content being published. And I think a lot of readers would most likely be unaware of the merge as the newspapers have maintained their individual identities regardless.
So what is there to be gained from merging newspapers? Aside from saving money by employing less people, I’m not actually sure. I think if there were other ways of saving money without having to go through mergers then newspapers would do that (or I hope so anyway). But with the industry in the state that it’s in, newspapers have to respond and work out ways to make those savings.
I guess one thing that could be said for the Mirror’s move to a seven day publishing operation is that it will become a true daily newspaper with the same people producing every copy. However, I’m not sure how much of a good thing that is. To be honest, isn’t part of the beauty of Sunday papers that they are different? They’re about offering more than a quick bit of news. And moving to a seven day operation just doesn’t leave the room for this – you only have to look at how similar The Sun on Sunday is to The Sun on any other day of the week to see this.
It’s an interesting trend appearing at tabloids at the moment. But it’s not one I can see being applied at other papers. Can you imagine The Times and The Sunday Times announcing a merger? Personally, I can’t see it ever happening; The Times and The Sunday Times offer two quite different things.
What do you think? Is newspaper mergers the future of our industry? Are we heading towards seven day operations from all of the nationals? Would that be a good thing if it happened? Let me know what you think in the comments or tweet us @wannabehacks.
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