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Express and Star

Yesterday the Stirrer reported on the Express & Star’s bid to capture the Mail’s traditional territory. Dave Woodhall now reveals that winning the battle may be easier than they anticipated.

Tonight’s Birmingham Mail will be the last afternoon version of the paper. As of tomorrow the Mail will be on the streets as a morning edition, competing with the nationals.

The move has been on the cards since the Birmingham Post, also published by Trinity Mirror, went weekly last November. Ironically, it comes at a time when the Wolverhampton Express & Star is introducing a big push into the city, with a re-launched Birmingham edition and expanded distribution.

It is expected that the new morning edition of the Mail will save Trinity Mirror several millions a year in distribution costs, although with the loss of 75 delivery driver jobs, which will be phased out by the end of this month.

The move is bound to have a demoralising effect on journalists at the paper, already affected by sweeping redundancies at the end of 2009 and other cost-cutting measures. Reporters are being asked to take on tasks previously undertaken by sub-editors and ancillary staff, as one disgruntled employee told the Stirrer, “instead of getting out and finding the news.”

There is also disquiet that the new print times will lead to earlier deadlines and mean the Mail may experience difficulty in being able to report stories which break during the previous evening.

No doubt the change to the new morning paper meets the approval of the accountancy brains who seem to influence Trinity Mirror thinking with regards to the company’s provincial titles. The population of Birmingham, increasingly forced to learn about breaking news affecting their own neighbourhood via the medium of a newspaper based 15 miles away in a rival city, may not be so happy.



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