Sunday Telegram axed

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Content of paper will move to Saturday, Monday

The Sunday Telegram I browsed over this morning's cup of tea will be my last.

A story on page one of the Saturday Telegram announced the news, spinning it as a positive thing:

The Telegram is going to give you your weekend back.

The newspaper is returning to its roots, combining its Saturday and Sunday editions into a single paper that can be read all weekend long.

The improved Weekend Telegram, with the first edition delivered on Saturday, Sept. 27, will include familiar features from both papers, along with an expanded "A" section, more local news and expanded opinion and letters to the editor pages.

That's certainly putting a happy face on a less-than-happy situation.

The Sunday Telegram was launched in 1989, as a ploy to carve into and destabilize market share built by The Sunday Express, where I worked at the time. The Sunday Express folded in 1991, but not because of The Telegram's Sunday offering the two newspapers had nothing in common, and faithful Express readers knew the difference.

According to The Telegram article, the paper has been reviewing its weekend package for almost a year. However, I suspect the recent closure of The Independent was the key tipping point in its decision. A Sunday paper when it launched, The Independent moved more recently to a Friday distribution day. Now, with absolutely no print competition on the weekend, The Telegram is pulling the plug on Sunday.

Breaking news updates will continue to be added to the Telegram web site on Sundays.

The paper says all columnists are being absorbed into Saturday and Monday, and editorial staff will be deployed to enhance the quality of the remaining six editions (the allocation of more resources to enterprise reporting would help soften the blow for me).

The paper also chose this occasion to announce that daily subscribers will now receive free access to the paper's electronic edition, certainly a logical move, given that daily subscribers are paying for the content anyway.

To read more viewpoints on this, check out blogs by Greg Locke, Gary Kelly and Craig Welsh.

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  • Russell
    July 27, 2010 - 14:53

    Hi Geoff: Just a quick point - I was in research meetings about the expanded Weekend Edition way back in last March: I remember well getting back into my freezing car late at night after meeting after meeting. In fact, there were launch dates for the new paper long before The Independent even announced it was in trouble. It makes nice conspiracy theory to look at it differently, but it's not true.
    Russell