Two Fridays ago, I visited Trinity Mirror to get a first look at its new title The New Day and meet editor Alison Phillips.
As I stepped out of the lift on Canary Wharf’s 21st floor, I was greeted by the Sky News headline “death of print?” on the breaking story that the Independent will cease publishing next month.
It was ironic that I then spent the next two hours hearing the complete opposite. Alison told me how she is taking a risk and breaking newspaper conventions held for hundreds of years in an attempt to win back lapsed readers in the category.
One quote I’ve heard several times in the past few days is “you can’t keep doing the same thing but expect different results”. Alison’s opinion, which she shares with many retailers I’ve spoken to, is some people have stopped buying newspapers because they’re not happy with what’s currently on offer.
She’s doing something about it, and you can read about her plans in an exclusive interview in this issue.
Only time will tell if the launch is a success but most retailers I’ve spoken to are positive and up for the challenge
The Mirror Group is backing her and putting independent retailers at the heart of its strategy for doing so, including paying you to distribute two million free copies on Monday’s launch day.
Your challenge is if every store can get five lapsed newspaper readers to buy a copy once the price rises to 50p in two weeks’ time, it will be worth an extra £6m in retail profit margin.
Only time will tell if the launch is a success but most retailers I’ve spoken to are positive and up for the challenge. Belvedere retailer Amit Patel told me he’s more sceptical about the future of news. The challenge for Alison and her team is to convince retailers like Amit that it could be a new day for the category.